The son of a farmer, Tadesse grew up in a small village in Eritrea. He started running in 1998 when his bicycle broke. Five years later, he competed in his first international event – the 2003 World Cross Country Championships. A Swiss citizen since 2014, he is the country’s fastest ever marathon man.
Tadesse – why running, and how did you get started? I used to be a cyclist. Becoming a professional cyclist was my dream when I was a kid. But when I had an accident during training and my bike broke, I had to go to school by foot – so I started running.
When you don’t feel like training, what inspires you to get out there? I think about all the other athletes who get up nevertheless and do their training session. That motivates me to get up, because I’ll see them in the next race – and I don’t want to lose.
Can you tell us about a race you’d like to relive? Sport brings people together. It’s all about emotions – good and bad. While it’s a privilege to be an athlete, it can also be a burden. But I still love it every single day. During the marathon at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, I obtained an Olympic diploma for finishing seventh. I also won the half-marathon gold medal at the European Championships in 2016. I’d like to relive either of those!
Is nutrition a big focus? What’s your go-to meal after a tough run? Nutrition is an important aspect of any athlete’s program and part of my everyday routine. After a hard training session, I love to eat pasta.
What are your top tips for a speedy recovery after training? Eat and sleep.
Who is your ‘team’? My family; Team Tade (Flavio, Marco, Urs, Karin and Lisa); LC Uster; my fan club; and now the On family, too!
Apart from running, what are your passions? Cycling and spending time with my family and friends. I love cycling and ride my bike after a marathon as part of my recovery. Going for a ride with my friends is ideal!
Finally, why On? We’re both Swiss and we both like to compete internationally. Then I had the chance to meet Olivier (Bernhard, On co-founder). He’s an athlete like me, and we share the same passions and values. I’m very proud to become an athlete and ambassador for On.