La Somone, Senegal

On 21st December 2012 by Rachael

Senegal is one of the few places, outside the developed world, where it is possible to run without everyone looking at you as if you are mad.

Here on the Senegalese coast, La Somone, training for traditional wrestling is essential as a way out of poverty for many young  men which I discovered on my early morning run in November 2011.

Right the way along the beach, there were men doing push ups, sprint training and resistance running.

To shouts of ‘Miss Fitness’, I headed out on a 10mile training run, early in the morning to avoid the searing heat of the day.

It should have been a pleasant run, being so close to the beach. But just up the coast from Somone, which retains a traditional feel with local fishermen and villages amongst the holiday villas, is the expensive resort of Sali.

It means the coast along here is broken up by expensive resorts and private beaches so you can only run along the dusty road,  past men already busy at work at 7am welding and beating steel into bed frames and outside ornaments.

It certainly provides an insight into early morning Somone, with the local women buying fish straight off the boats and immaculately dressed children on the way to school.

It does not rate as one of my most beautiful training runs but it is worth it simply for the fact that it affords you a glimpse into how seriously the men of Senegal take their training for lutte – traditional folk wrestling. Small wonder when fights can mean big winnings which can change their fortunes.


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