... in running

What the kusttram is to Belgium, the Gaza marathon is to the Palestinian territories

04 Mar 2012 | 121 words | belgium coast gaza kusttram marathon running

So it turns out that, since last year, they have a marathon in the gaza strip. Even better, this is the only marathon which covers the entire coast of a state territory (much like Belgium is the only county in the world that has a tram running along it’s entire coastline).

The Volkskrant article that made me aware of the existence of the gaza marathon even claims that the coastline of the gaza strip is exactly 42K long, which after some quick fact-checking turns out to be only slightly wrong.

According to various news-reports, this year’s edition was quite a hellish task, with very low temperatures and a sand/rainstorm blowing into the faces of the competitors.

Marathon runner in a sandstorm

Run when you hear the sirens coming

16 Jan 2008 | 281 words | africa south africa security running urbanism

(I suggest to listen to Dizzee Rascals ‘sirens’ while reading this post). so I am in Johannesburg (or some elite gated community called ‘Sandhurst‘ that tries hard not to be part of the rest of the urban fabric) for less than two hours and I am already not used to a lot of things:

Physically i am totally not used to run up and down hills. it’s something we just don’t do in Holland (because of the general flatness of the place). Even worse i am not used to running up hills in the mid day summer heat.

More interestingly though i am totally not used to run in a place like this. Sandhurst is a gated community with only two entrances and even within that fenced-off area every property is individually surrounded by electrical fences, CCTV cameras and armed guards. In fact the only people on the street are either guards or cleaning crews.

As if it was not surreal enough already to run around in this maze of streets that is surrounded by an outer fence and surrounds the inner fences around the individual properties, there are these cars of security companies that patrol the streets and which have the most hideous – straight form the movies – names:

USB marines, Armed Response Unit, SWAT unit (complete with desert camouflage paint job) or – my personal favorite – the jack bauer inspiredtactical team‘ SUV.

Tommy, who is from Croatia and should know such things, consequently calls this place a ‘war zone’ and as far as i am concerned that Dizzee Rascal song mentioned at the beginning of this post provides the perfect soundtrack for running through this madness.

meanwhile... is the personal weblog of Paul Keller. I am currently policy director at Open Future and President of the COMMUNIA Association for the Public Domain. This weblog is largely inactive but contains an archive of posts (mixing both work and personal) going back to 2005.

I also maintain a collection of cards from African mediums (which is the reason for the domain name), a collection of photos on flickr and a website collecting my professional writings and appearances.

Other things that i have made online: