More than forty thousand runners took part in the Great Ethiopian Run in the county’s capital on Saturday. Participants in the race which included Ethiopian, Kenyan, and Eritrean athletes applauded the peace agreement between the Ethiopian government and Tigrayan rebels, expressing their hope that the Race could be held in Mekelle, the capital of Tigray.
“Because of peace, we are allowed to participate over forty thousand people. I am so proud of that. Please, let give a big thing for peace. This is the benefit of peace. I am so glad to organise such a race here in Addis Ababa. I want to do this kind of thing in Mekelle, I want to do this kind of thing in northern Ethiopia. That is very important.” Haile Gebrselassie, founder of Great Ethiopian Run said.
Twenty-four-year old Abe Gashaw became the first athlete to win three titles by taking victory run held Saturday, adding to his wins in November 2016 and January 2021. He won in a time of 28 minutes and 32 seconds, edging out Hailemariam Amare (28:34) and last year’s winner Gemechu Dida (28:36).
But the women’s race produced a new race winner Tigist Ketema. Ketema bided her time until the final kilometre before unleashing her sprint for home, pulling clear of 2nd placed Mestawot Fikir and 3rd placed Foyten Tesfay in the final 200m. Both winners took home prizemoney of 150,000 birr (almost $3,000), the highest prize in the race’s 22-year history. The highest-placed non-Ethiopian was Keneth Kiprop of Uganda who finished 16th in a time of 29 minutes and 26 seconds.
This 10 kilometers grand running event started and ended at Mesqel Square, Addis Ababa. This year’s event was graced by Olympic champion in the women’s marathon, Peres Jepchirchir and Kenyan legendary Moses Tanui.