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2008 Coca-Cola ‘Clean & Green’ Half-Marathon, 25 May 2008

Deriba Merga recorded an impressive win in the first-ever half-marathon staged by Great Ethiopian Run in its’ seven-year history. His winning time of 1:01:27 was almost one and half minutes clear of his younger brother Sintayehu (1:02:55) with Challa Dechassa one second behind in 3rd place. It was Merga’s third race win in as many years having previously won the 2006 World Cup 10km also staged in Nazreth and the 2006 TOYOTA Great Ethiopian Run 10km in November 2006. The women’s 21km was won by Mamitu Deska in a time of 1:13:43. Around one thousand participants took part in the mass 7km run which followed the elite race.

2008 Education for Girls Series, January & February 2008

In the first two months of 2008 Great Ethiopian Run staged a series of three mass-participation community runs in Jinka, Semera and Jijiga as part of a campaign to publicise messages about girls' education in Ethiopia. The three towns were chosen by their location in parts of Ethiopia where there is lower than average school enrolment of girls. The problem is particularly apparent in Somali region (where Jijiga is the regional capital) where fewer than 1 in 5 girls finish eight years of education.

A total of more than 5000 participants took part in the three races. At each venue, a film was shown of a visit by Meseret Defar to her school in Addis Ababa where she talks about the opportunities that opened up for her from going to school. A CD with messages from Meseret and Haile Gebrselassie was used during the registration period at each of the races where these messages were reinforced. At the races special prizes were given to female participants to encourage them to continue with their education.

2007 Great Adama Run,Adama, Sunday 17 June 2007

The presence of Haile Gebrselassie, Assefa Mezgebu, Gete Wami and Berhane Adere at the 2007 Great Ethiopian Run AIDS Series Final staged in in the Oromia regional capital of Nazreth provided a fitting climax to the 5-race series. The races offered prizes to the elite winners from the top clubs in Addis Ababa; to the overall winners of the race series (with all five towns represented in Nazreth); and to the winners from the Nazreth region. Dadi Urga won the men’s race in 28:15 while Mihret Tadesse won the women’s race in 32:55. The Ethiopian Sports Minister Aster Mamo made her first visit to a competition staged by Great Ethiopian Run to present the prizes, congratulating the organizers on a successful conclusion to the 2007 AIDS Series.

2007 Great Bahir Dar Run, Bahir Dar, 20 May 2007

A fierce sprint finish decided the outcome of the men’s race with Yetwal Kandie coming out on top with a winning time of 29:14. Genet Talew, running in barefeet, was a clear winner of the women’s race in a time of 34:13. Yetwal, running in socks and no shoes and who had finished 35th in the national cross-country championships in February, improved his PB by more than one minute, while sixteen-year-old Yalew who is from the same district as the men's winner (about 120km from Bahir Dar) came home almost 90 seconds ahead of 2nd-placed athlete Nigist Muluneh.

After the race thousands of participants and spectators crowded the presentation platform to see Meselech Melkamu, Sentayehu Ijigu and Yibeltal Admasu award prizes to the 10km winners and the Children’s 2km winners. Amhara president Ayalew Gobezun also awarded prizes to participants living with HIV / AIDS. A total of more than three thousand participants took part in this morning’s two races.

2007 Europe Day Races, Addis Ababa, 6 May 2007

Wearing blue and yellow T-shirts bearing the stars of the EU flag, around one thousand five hundred schoolchildren from government and private school in Addis, as well as schoolchildren from Oromia and Gurage regions of Ethiopia, took part in the 2007 Europe Day Races as part of the celebrations for 2007 Europe Day.

The event's third edition brought together a range of participants from schools, orphanages and library organisations for a colourful morning of fun and entertainment to celebrate the EU's 50th 'birthday' since the Treaty of Rome in 1957. The highest number of participants came from the Kidane Mihret Orphanage School with more than 150 participants. ETV personality Ababa Tesfaye appeared on the winner’s podium alongside Haile Gebrselassie and EU Head Tim Clarke to present the prizes which included trophies, certificates and school bags for the first three finishers in each of the six races.

2007 Great Awassa Run, Awassa, 15 April 2007

Gesara Gargi was the surprise men's winner of the third in the series of 2007 Great Ethiopian Run AIDS races held in the southern regional capital of Awassa. Wearing socks and no shoes, Gargi won in a time of 29 minutes and 52 seconds, while Fantaye Woma from the South Police Club won the women's race in a time of 35 minutes and 48 seconds.

The race had a special international feel with the participation of several Dutch runners representing one of the series sponsors Local Heroes and the town of Hof van Twente which were responsible for raising support for the Dutch charity. The City Manager of Hof van Twente joined Awassa Mayor Ayanu Berasu and Ethiopian athlete Assefa Mezgebu in giving out prizes to the winners. It is hoped that some partnerships projects between the Dutch town and Awassa might result from the event.

2007 Great Mekelle Run, Mekelle, 18 February 2007

Former world junior champion Gebreegziabiher Gebremariam was the big attraction for the people of his home province of Tigray as Great Ethiopian Run took the second leg of their 5-race series "For You and Your Community" back to the same town where they had previously staged their first regional competition in March 2004. Gebremariam, a former world cross-country silver medallist, not only received a hero's welcome upon arrival in mekelle on the eve of the race; he then went on to win the main 10km race, contested by more than 6000 others, by an impressive 40-second margin.

Considering the severity of the course – including a hilly climb to the Monument which had to be tackled twice - his winning time of 29 minutes and 59 seconds was impressive. “I am always happy to run with the people with whom I grew up,” said an elated Gebremariam as he collected his prize on a special day for the community which was also celebrating the annual 'Yekatit 11' holiday. Berhane Adere, making her first trip to the region as a VIP guest, was also on hand to award prizes.

WORLD CUP 10k children

2007 Great Dire Dawa Run, Dire Dawa, 30 January 2007

Four thousand runners took to the streets of Ethiopia’s eastern town of Dire Dawa for the first in the five-race 2007 Great Ethiopian Run AIDS Series organised under the banner of “For You and Your Community”. The action included a Children’s 2km Run for around 250 youngsters with prizes including certificates and signed autograph cards from Haile Gebrselassie presented by two of Ethiopia’s best-known singers Johnny Ragga and Tadela Lafontaine. As one of the local camels wandered up to the Start Line in Station Square in the centre of town, the mayor of Dire Dawa Abdulaziz Mohammed flagged off the mass of around 4000 local runners for the 10km race.

The men’s race was won by Sintalem Negessa in a time of 30:16 minutes with the women’s title going to Askale Alemayehu in a time of 36:23. Local girl Gebeynesh Assefa wearing the ordinary sky-blue race T-shirt having not received an elite start number finished in 3rd place ahead of more experienced runners. Ethiopia’s 2000 Sydney Olympic 5,000m champion Million Wolde presented prizes to the top three in the men’s and women’s races with additional prizes given to two HIV-positive race participants. Earlier, the race organisers had asked the crowds for a one-minute silence to remember the victims of last August’s floods in the town which had claimed more than 250 lives.

2006 CRBC / AACRA Ring Road Relay, Addis Ababa, 17 September 2006

Ninety six teams from organisations competing under six categories (business, government, embassy, NGO, gym and school) took part in the third edition of the CRBC / AACRA Ring Road Relay on Sunday 17th September 2006 staged over a 12km course from Kaliti to Meganagna. Ethiopia’s Federal Prisons Club won both men’s and women’s elite team races in the club competition with Genet Getahun, the 2005 TOYOTA Great Ethiopian Run champion, anchoring her team to victory on the last 3km stage in the women’s race. The winning time in the men's race was 35 minutes and 42 seconds and 42 minutes and 45 seconds in the women's race.

The first edition of the event was staged two years ago to mark the completion of the first two phases (33km) of the Addis Ababa Ring Road with the 3rd phase now being constructed by CRBC, the race’s main sponsor. Race publicity gave attention to messages about road safety centering on the main race slogan “Watch Your Speed!”

2006 WORLD CUP 10km, Nazreth, 9 July 2006

Deriba Merga and Azalech Masresha were the winners of the WORLD CUP 10km road race staged in the Oromia regional centre of Nazreth 90km south of Addis Ababa. Merga who trains with Getaneh Tessema's GLOBAL Running Club and who finished 3rd in the 2005 TOYOTA Great Ethiopian Run 10km last November, stormed away from the field of top national and club runners and recorded an impressive 27:58 minute clocking on the fast all-asphalt course, 13 seconds ahead of 2nd-placed Eshetu Wondimu from the new Aisha Running Club. The women's race was a closely-fought duel between two Muger Sport Club athletes Azalech Masresha and Rehima Kedir who had won the 2006 CONFIDENCE Women First 5k earlier this year. Masresha narrowly won the race here in a time of 32 minutes and 52 seconds, just one second ahead of Kedir.

Earlier in the morning the under-11 children's races had once again showed a wellspring of talent among the young local population. Prizes of footballs for the children’s winners and cash prizes totalling 14,300 Ethiopian birr for the first 10 finishers in both the men's and women's races were presented by two of Ethiopia's elite athletes Anbessi Tolossa and Assefa Mezgebu.


2006 Europe Day Races, Addis Ababa, 7 May 2006

Around 1500 schoolchildren from more than 70 government and private schools in Addis Ababa took part in the second edition of the Europe day Races for schoolchildren. A total of six races were staged for boys and girls in three age categories (under 8 / 11 / 14). The races were staged in connection with a week-long programme of sport and cultural activities marking Europe day celebration sin Ethiopia. Haile Gebrsealssie and EU Head Tim Clarke presented the prizes to the winners.

2006 Run Against Trachoma, Wolkitay, 29 January 2006

The 2006 Wolkitay Run Against Trachoma, the 4th regional competition staged by the Great Ethiopian Run, took place in the town of Wolkitay 150km west of Addis Ababa, on Sunday 29th January 2006. Around 2000 participants took part in the mass 5km race while a further 250 youngsters participated in the 2km Children's Run.

Race sponsors ORBIS International which works in trachoma treatment and prevention in this part of Ethiopia, and the Embassy of France, represented by their Ambassador HE Stephane Gompertz, were among the participants as were students from the Wusate Birhan Music School for the Visually Impaired whose members performed traditional music before and after the race. Haile Gebrselassie and 2000 Sydney Olympic marathon champion Gezahagne Abera presented the prizes to the winners.


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UPCOMING RACES

2008 TOYOTA Great Ethiopian Run 10km, 23 November 2008


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