I ran in Ghana for the first time in September 2021. It was such an incredible experience and never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d get to do it again so soon. We landed at 10pm on Saturday and as such couldn’t make the trip to the Eastern Region until the next day. I was excited as this meant I could run in Accra and experience some of the capital’s sights and sounds. We set off for the Eastern Region shortly after my run. Our hotel was in the tiny village of Senchi which borders Atimpoku, the capital of the Asuogyaman District.
While there, I ran from Tuesday to Friday in both Senchi and Atimpoku. It being the dry winter season, the days were cooler than they’d been on my previous visit. It made my runs a lot easier! Most mornings were also quite misty and grey. Each route I chose was unique but all ended on the shores of Lake Volta with a beautiful view of the island, home to Senchi Nature Park.
My first run was an out-and-back. As with any run in a new place, I was slightly nervous but I had been assured it was safe. I took a deep breath and turned right at the hotel gate.
It wasn’t long before I settled into my run. The road was lined with small houses and shops. There were also signs of traditional life in the form of smoke from cooking fires, people sweeping their yards with straw brooms as well as chickens and goats milling about. When I reached the main road, Tema-Akosombo, I turned left and was greeted by lots of traffic – honking trotros, buses, trucks, and motorbikes – many with trailers.
The area was quite hilly but nothing too strenuous – just as I would start to tire out the road would slope down again, giving me time to catch my breath.
As soon as I found a turn off the main road, I took it. It was a lot more peaceful. When I got to Ebenezer House, I turned back just as a bus was offloading kids in bright yellow uniform.
I made it back to the main road and another 500m at the hotel made it 6.5km for the day.
The following day I was facilitating a long workshop session and was worried I’d be too tense to run. But my husband reminded me that I probably needed this run more than any other day. This time I turned left out of the hotel. The road was a lot quieter and more tranquil.
I’ve felt so sluggish the last few weeks, but this run was amazing – my legs, breathing and head were all in sync, giving me the freedom to enjoy my surroundings. When I reached the end of the road, I turned right and realised I was on the road I’d run on the day before. I soon reached Ebenezer House where I’d previously turned back coming in the other direction. I continued all the way to the busy main road and back to the hotel making a neat 5km triangle.
On the third day, I had one mission – to run to and over the Adomi Bridge. Built in 1955 -1956 and opened in 1957 by Ghana’s first president Kwame Nkrumah, the Adomi Bridge is a latticed steel arch suspension bridge crossing the Volta River at Atimpoku. It is the first permanent bridge to span the Volta River which drains south into the Gulf of Guinea, and is Ghana’s longest suspension bridge. I’d briefly been on this road for previous runs and knew it was quite busy. The hotel porter had also voiced his concerns over the traffic. But the draw of the bridge was too strong. I told myself that I would give it a shot and turn back if it proved too difficult. Dressed in bright pink tights, I set off! When I got to the main road, I turned right.
The road was relatively quiet at first but got busier as I ran. Nothing too daunting though and there was always space for me to run. There were quite a few people going to work or school and many vendors were setting up their stalls. I also spotted a mosque and quite a few churches.
The hills on the left had several mansions which like the hotel was a bit of a contrast to the hustle and bustle on the street. About 3km in, the road curved slightly and there were several market stalls. At this point, I could see the Bridge and even with the mist in the air, it looked majestic. I felt a lump in my throat as I crossed the road and made my way towards it.
As I ran across the Bridge, I suddenly felt quite emotional. When I got to the other side, I spent some time taking photos from this vantage point.
I headed back with such a strong feeling of satisfaction. It wasn’t just the Bridge – it was me running in an unfamiliar town with such confidence and determination to see a piece of history. The girl five years ago would never have done that.
For my final day, I wanted less excitement so I headed down the village road again and was satisfied with the peace and quiet it offered. When I got back I took my final photo of the sunrise on the hotel grounds.
I hope you enjoyed running with me in the Eastern Region of Ghana! What famous bridge have you run on? What do you enjoy about running in new places? What don’t you enjoy?