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Meet our good friend and Boom! Nutrition Marathoner, Desta Morkama.  We did a nice video interview at the Philadelphia Marathon but were overwhelmed by the background noise in the hall and Desta's language skills so the transcript is below.  Desta is from Ethiopia and is currently living in the Northern Virginia area.  Desta recently placed 2nd OA at the 2016 Marine Corps Marathon (2:24:28) and came in 13th at the Philadelphia Marathon on a very cold and wind day (2:27:03).  Buna Booma!

Desta enroute to a 2:27:03 finish (13th OA) at 2016 Philadelphia Marathon.  Boom!

Desta enroute to a 2:27:03 finish (13th OA) at 2016 Philadelphia Marathon.  Boom!

Desta on the way to 2nd OA finish at 2016 Marine Corps Marathon

Desta on the way to 2nd OA finish at 2016 Marine Corps Marathon

Boom!: How old are you?

Desta: I am 31

Boom!: Where in Ethiopia are you from?

Desta: I am from Arsi which is a province of Ethiopia with its capital at Asella.  The province was reduced to a zone of the Oromia region with the adoption of the new constitution in 1995.  My family are farmers.  We raise maize (similiar to corn but different).

Boom!: Do you have any siblings? 

Desta: I had 12 brothers and sisters.  One has died.

Boom!: When/Why did you come to the US and how did you get to Northern Virginia?

Desta: I am in search of a better life.  I hoped to win money at marathons, but the challenges are very difficult. 

Boom! When did you start running and when did you discover you were going to be good?

Desta: I was a runner all my life.  I began winning races when I was 13.  When I learned to run fast enough, I traveled to Europe and ran marathons in France, Latvia, and Poland.

Boom! What is your favorite training routine?  How many miles do you run in a typical week?

Desta: Near where I am staying is my favorite hill, 20th Street in Arlington VA between Glebe Road and Fillmore Street.  The hill rises 25 meters in the distance of just 300 meters.  I run it 20 times every morning at 7 AM.  Then I eat breakfast, often with a packet of CarbBoom! Then I rest.  In the afternoon, I run 5 to 10 miles at an easy pace.  Then lunch and rest, or I work to help my friend Jay.  Then we have a training program every evening -- speed work on a track on Mondays and Wednesdays, distance with the Pacers Running Store group on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  I run a race almost every weekend.  I cover about 105 miles per week.

Boom!: What are your goals for running?

Desta: I want to win major marathons.  I finished 2nd overall at 2016 Marine Corps Marathon. I had a CarbBoom! gel before the race, then at 10 miles and 20 miles. 

Boom! What are your plans for being in the US?

Desta: My visa is for six months, September 12 through March 11.  Soon, I hope to seek asylum here in the USA.  In Ethiopia, my Oromo people are greatly oppressed. My friend and training partner in Ethiopia was Feyisa Lilesa. the 2016 Olympic Silver Medalist.  When he finished, he gave the sign of the Oromo people, crossing his arms at the wrists.  He has applied for asylum i n the US. (for more information, See Oromo_People)

Boom! How do you think about nutrition during long races (marathons)

Desta: I need energy.  I am always hungry.  

Boom!: What do you like about CarbBoom! Energy Gels and what is your favorite flavor?

Desta: CarbBoom! tastes good and help me run longer and faster. My favorite is Orange Vanilla -- the caffeine gives me a boost.  Coffee is "buna" in Amharic, so I call it Buna Booma!

Boom!: Anything else he wants to share?

Desta: When I finished 2nd at Marine Corps Marathon, the Washington Post ran this story: Marine Corps Marathon

Boom!:  Thanks for the time Desta and best of luck in the future!


Desta and fellow Ethiopian Dadi Beyene sharing a laugh on the start line at 2016 Philadelphia Marathon

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