Elfenesh Alemu (born 10 June 1975 in Lemo Arya, Arsi Zone) is an Ethiopian long-distance runner, who specializes in the marathon race. She represented Ethiopia at the Summer Olympics in 2000 and 2004. She also competed in the marathon at the World Championships in Athletics four times consecutively from 1997 to 2003.
Alemu began competing in the event in 1993 and won the African Marathon Championships the following year. She took the bronze medal two years later at the 1995 All-Africa Games. She became the first Ethiopian woman to win the Amsterdam Marathon in 1997. She also won the Nagano Olympic Commemorative Marathon in 2000. Her personal best time of 2:24:29 was set in 2001 at the London Marathon, which earned her fifth place in the rankings.
She came third at the 2002 Boston Marathon and won the Tokyo International Women's Marathon in 2003. That year, she married Gezahegne Abera, the 2000 Olympic marathon champion. Alemu returned to the Boston course in both 2004 and 2005, finishing as the runner-up on each occasion. She set a course record of 1:12:57 in her 2005 victory at the San Blas Half Marathon in Puerto Rico.
She was eleventh at the 2009 Chicago Marathon and took a break from competition in the 2010 season. She formed part of an Ethiopian sweep of the 2011 Mumbai Marathon with Koren Yal and Merima Mohammed, placing third in a time of 2:29:04 hours.
|1995||All-Africa Games||Harare, Zimbabwe||3rd||Marathon||3:08:43|
|1997||World Championships||Athens, Greece||15th||Marathon||2:41:00|
|Amsterdam Marathon||Amsterdam, Netherlands||1st||Marathon||2:37:37|
|1999||World Championships||Seville, Spain||5th||Marathon||2:28:52|
|2000||Osaka Ladies Marathon||Osaka, Japan||4th||Marathon||2:24:47|
|Nagano Marathon||Nagano, Japan||1st||Marathon||2:24:55|
|Olympic Games||Sydney, Australia||6th||Marathon||2:26:54|
|2001||London Marathon||London, United Kingdom||5th||Marathon||2:24:29|
|World Championships||Edmonton, Canada||—||Marathon||DNF|
|2003||World Championships||Paris, France||6th||Marathon||2:26:29|
|Tokyo International Marathon||Tokyo, Japan||1st||Marathon||2:24:47|
|2004||Olympic Games||Athens, Greece||4th||Marathon||2:28:15|
- African Championships Marathon. Association of Road Racing Statisticians (24 July 2010). Retrieved on 2011-01-19.
- Johannes, Sabrina (200408-21). Focus on Athletes - Elfenesh Alemu. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-01-19.
- Alemu Elfenesh. Marathon Info. Retrieved on 2011-01-19.
- Post, Marty et al (8 February 2010). San Blas Half Marathon. ARRS. Retrieved on 2011-01-19.
- Krishnan, Ram. Murali (16 January 2011). Assefa and Yal take down course records in Mumbai. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-01-19.