Watch Ethiopian Girls Race for More Than a Trophy in ‘Bekoji 100’

‘Bekoji 100’ is a film highlighting Desta and Zabu, two teenage women athletes supported by Girls Gotta Run — a nonprofit seeking better lives for African girls.

By on December 28, 2022 | Comments

Reporting from the finish line of Ethiopia’s Bekoji 100 Relay in 2019, iRunFar’s Meghan Hicks reflected that the race’s 13.5 hours simultaneously felt “like a lifetime and no time.”

How could that be? Hicks pointed to race organizer Girls Gotta Run to explain the sensation.

The nonprofit’s central goal is to elevate Ethiopian girls from poverty and child marriage into educational opportunities and independent adult lives. It’s doing that through running — and now, through a recent film about its keystone race project.

A scene from short film "Bekoji 100."

A scene from the short film “Bekoji 100.” Photo: Girls Gotta Run

Simply titled “Bekoji 100,” the short film highlights Desta and Zabu, two young women from the area. Competing with support from Girls Gotta Run, they embark on the first-ever 100-mile relay race across Ethiopia. Running alongside their teammates and international athletes alike, the two athletes outline their athletic ambitions and share the trials they face in their society.

Girls Gotta Run scholar Desta calms herself with a short prayer before running her relay leg. Photo: iRunFar/Meghan Hicks

Austin, Texas’s international running expo, The Running Event, featured “Bekoji 100” as part of its film festival earlier this month, in December 2022. If you missed that screening, there’s only one place to watch it now: on Girls Gotta Run’s website.

“When [the Foundation’s athletes] run together, they realize they are all one, we are one,” the film voiceover begins.

If that sensation strikes a chord with you, you’re in for a treat. This video will hit you right in the feels.

And if you’d like to learn more about Girls Gotta Run’s work in Ethiopia and the Bekoji 100 Relay, read iRunFar’s in-depth coverage.

Sam Anderson
Sam Anderson writes any articles he can talk his way into, amid a life of traveling the United States and Mexico in search of adventure and margaritas. Follow him on Instagram.