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2007 TOYOTA Great Ethiopian Run 10k

Just short of 30,000 participants took part in the 2007 TOYOTA Great Ethiopian Run 10km on Sunday 25th November, the highest number in the race’s seven-year history. The relatively unknown marathon runner Tsegaye Kebede and national cross-country team member Wude Ayalew won the elite men’s and women’s races respectively. Kebede only decided to enter the race 48 hours previously after completing a tough 15km training run on the outskirts of the city, while Ayalew saw off a tough field including Koreni Jelila, Deribe Alemu and Aselefech Mergia. Among the VIP guests taking part in the race were New York City Marathon Race Director Mary Wittenberg and former 5,000m world record holder Dave Moorcroft. At the end of the race Wittenberg who finished in a time of 50 minutes and 24 seconds said: “it is time that this race gets known all over the world. It’s truly amazing. The crowds around the course were unbelievable – and the runners around me were encouraging me the whole way.”

2007 race results

2007 GER participants at finish
2006 TOYOTA Great Ethiopian Run 10k

Men: 26-year-old Deriba Merga completed a memorable year by winning the 2006 TOYOTA Great Ethiopian Run which followed domestic victories in the Nazreth World Cup 10km and the Ethiopian 20km championships earlier in the year. Merga who finished 3rd in the 2005 race sprinted past compatriot Tadesse Tola in the last 500m of the race to cross the line in a new course record of 28:18.61. The leading pack was down to six runners at halfway; by 6.5km this was reduced to three on the tough hill by the National Palace with Tola leading Merga and Eshetu Wondimu. With two kilometres left, Tola and Merga dropped Wondimu to set up a two-horse sprint for the finish. Merga eventually finished three seconds ahead of Tola. Wondimu edged Tilahun Regassa to finish third. Henry Sugut was the fastest non-Ethiopian in 9th.

Women: Little-known Belaynesh Fekadu was the surprise winner of the women’s race. The Omedla sports club runner, who had previously run only a few times abroad including at the 2003 IAAF World XC, powered ahead of Kenyan Lineth Chepkurui to win the race in a new course record time of 33:02.25. Fekadu executed her race tactics superbly by first running behind a large leading group of nine runners for the middle section of the race. The pack was down to five as they went into the last 2km of the race. Fekadu made her winning move 500m from the finish. Her victory was one of the biggest surprises in the six years of the competition. Defending champion Genet Getaneh finished 3rd and pre-race favourite Bezunesh Bekele was 5th.

2006 race results

2005 TOYOTA Great Ethiopian Run 10k

Men: Ethiopia’s Ketema Negussie produced a magnificent turn of speed in the final 300m to maintain Ethiopia’s unbeaten record in the fifth edition of the men’s international 10km race. Entering the final kilometre of the race Negussie trailed Kenya’s Nathan Naibei, 4th in the 2005 IAAF World Youth 3,000m steeplechase, but managed to edge past him as they ran into Meskel Square and stay ahead to win in a new course record time of 28:24.13. Negussie earned ETB 25,000 (USD 2840) for winning the race and an additional ETB 10,000 (USD 1136) for breaking the course record.

Women: Ethiopia’s Genet Getaneh defended her 10km title at the 2005 TOYOTA Great Ethiopian Run in one of the tightest ever finishes in the five-year race history. Like Negussie in the men’s race, the 20-year old runner from the Prisons Sport Club had been trailing the diminutive Ahaza Kiros for much of the race’s last kilometre before sneaking past Kiros as they approached the finish tape. Her winning time of 33:05.13 was more than a minute faster than her previous course record, albeit on a new one-lap course which took out the second tough hill of previous years. Kiros from the EEPCO Sport Club took second while Yenealem Ayano, fourth in the 2004 world cross country junior 6k, finished third.

2005 race results

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2008 TOYOTA Great Ethiopian Run 10km, 23 November 2008

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