Great Ethiopian Run

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Great Ethiopian Run
Great Ethiopian Run Official Logo.jpg
Official logo
DateLate November
LocationAddis Ababa, Ethiopia
Event typeRoad
Primary sponsorTotal
Course recordsMen: 28:18.61 (2006)
Ethiopia Deriba Merga
Women: 32:16 (2015)
Ethiopia Mamitu Daska
Official siteGreat Ethiopian Run

The Great Ethiopian Run (Amharic: ታላቁ ሩጫ በኢትዮጵያ) is an annual 10-kilometre road running event which takes place in late November in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


The competition was first envisioned by neighbors Ethiopian runner Haile Gebrselassie, Peter Middlebrook and Abi Masefield in late October 2000, following Haile's return from the 2000 Summer Olympics. The 10,000 entries for the first edition quickly sold out and other people unofficially joined in the race without a number.[1] The creation of the race marked the first time that a major annual 10 km race had been held in the country, renowned for producing world class runners.[2] The day's events include an international and popular 10 km race and a 5 km women only race.[3]

Competitors at the 2011 Great Ethiopian Run.

The elite race attracts a number of prominent runners. Haile Gebrselassie won the inaugural men's race and at the second edition many of the countries top long-distance runners competed, with Gebre Gebremariam, Sileshi Sihine and Kenenisa Bekele comprising the top three in the men's race and Worknesh Kidane and Tirunesh Dibaba taking first and second in the women's race.[4][5] Although more established competitors do take part, the race is known for highlighting the best of Ethiopia's up-and-coming running talent – many of the race's podium finishers, little-known at the time, have gone on to achieve success on the global stage.[6]

By 2005, the number of race entries had grown to 25,000 participants.[7] There were around 35,000 runners competing at the 2010 edition.[8] The combination of the quality of the national elite field and the time-impeding altitude of Addis Ababa (8000 ft) means that the international race does not attract many elite runners from other countries. Given the prominence of the race and its importance to emerging athletes, the races - particularly the men's - are hotly contested with large leading packs early on and much physical interaction.[9] Standing in contrast to other large scale running events, fun runners at the Great Ethiopian Run do not typically compete to raise money for charity, but instead compete for their own personal reasons.[1]

The 2016 event saw over 40,000 registrations despite a 6-month state of emergency declared in October following violent anti-government protests.[4] Abe Gashahun and Foiteyn Tesfaye, both relatively new and unknown young athletes, were the surprise winners of the 16th edition of the Great Ethiopian Run 10km international road race which was held on Sunday November 20, 2016.

Abe Gashahun won in a tight sprint finish ahead of Kenyan athlete Jorum Lumbasi, who became the first Kenyan male to place in the top three since Nathan Naibei finished 2nd here in 2005. Four athletes had entered the final home straight locked together and Gashahun only clinched victory in the final few metres of the race.

Gashahun who is coached by Haji Ajilo comes from Debre Birhan, 120km northeast of Addis Ababa, and had travelled to the capital yesterday for this race.

“I have competed abroad only twice until now, both times in France. I hope that my win today will give me more opportunities to compete in international races abroad, “he said after the race.

The women’s winner Foiteyn Tesfaye who was also appearing in the race for the first time surprised better known names in the race. Tesfaye runs for the Messebo club based in the northern province of Tigray and is still relatively new to the racing scene in Addis Ababa.[5]

The competition has had high profile headline sponsors over its history: it was sponsored by Total from 2002–2003,[10][11] Toyota from 2004–2008,[12][13] and Ethiopian Airlines has been the current title sponsor since 2009.[14]

Past winners[edit]

Key:   Course record

Edition Year Men's winner Time (m:s) Women's winner Time (m:s)
1st 2001  Haile Gebrselassie (ETH) 30:04  Berhane Adere (ETH) 35:07
2nd 2002  Gebregziabher Gebremariam (ETH) 30:15  Werknesh Kidane (ETH) 34:34
3rd[15] 2003  Sileshi Sihine (ETH) 29:52.71  Tirunesh Dibaba (ETH) 34:48
4th[16] 2004  Abebe Dinkesa (ETH) 29:57  Genet Getaneh (ETH) 34:18
5th[17] 2005  Ketema Negussie (ETH) 28:24.13  Genet Getaneh (ETH) 33:05.13
6th[18] 2006  Deriba Merga (ETH) 28:18.61  Belaynesh Fikadu (ETH) 33:02.25
7th[19] 2007  Tsegaye Kebede (ETH) 29:06.50  Wude Ayalew (ETH) 33:50.86
8th 2008  Chala Dechase (ETH) 28:55  Wude Ayalew (ETH) 33:31
9th 2009  Tilahun Regassa (ETH) 28:36  Koren Jelela (ETH) 33:03
10th 2010  Azmeraw Bekele (ETH) 29:25  Sule Utura (ETH) 33:35
11th 2011  Mosinet Geremew (ETH) 28:37  Abebech Afework (ETH) 32:59
12th 2012[20]  Hagos Gebrhiwet (ETH) 28:37  Aberu Kebede (ETH) 33:27
13th 2013[21]  Atsedu Tsegay (ETH) 29:21  Netsanet Gudeta (ETH) 33:23
14th 2014[22]  Azmeraw Bekele (ETH) 30:11  Wude Ayalew (ETH) 34:03
15th 2015[23]  Tamirat Tola (ETH) 28:44  Mamitu Daska (ETH) 32:16
16th 2016  Abe Gashahun (ETH) 28:53  Fotyen Tesfay (ETH) 33:09
17th 2017  Selemon Barega (ETH) 28:36  Zeineba Yimer (ETH) 32:30
18th 2018  Hagos Gebrhiwet (ETH) 28:54  Foten Tesfaye (ETH) 33:44


  1. ^ a b The Great Ethiopian Run - the world's toughest fun run. SPIKES Magazine. Retrieved on 2010-11-27.
  2. ^ Gebre puts finishing touches to Great Ethiopian Run. IAAF (2001-11-23). Retrieved on 2010-11-28.
  3. ^ Women's 5K - Information . Great Ethiopian Run. Retrieved on 2010-11-28.
  4. ^ Gebre Great in Ethiopian Run. IAAF (2001-11-26). Retrieved on 2010-11-28.
  5. ^ Negash, Elshadai (2002-11-02). Gebremariam grabs win in Great Ethiopian Run. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-11-27.
  6. ^ Up-and-coming Bekele and Utura take Great Ethiopian titles. Athletics Weekly (2010-11-21). Retrieved on 2010-11-28.
  7. ^ Negash, Elshadai (2005-11-10). Organisers of 25,000 strong Great Ethiopian Run remain hopeful despite civil unrest. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-11-27.
  8. ^ Negash, Elshadai (2010-11-22). Utura and A. Bekele take Great Ethiopian Run 10km titles in Addis Ababa. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-11-28.
  9. ^ Negash, Elshadai (2011-11-27). Geremew, Afework take surprise Great Ethiopian Run 10km victories. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-11-28.
  10. ^ Negash, Elshadai (2002-10-21). Komen is set for the Great Ethiopian Run. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-11-28.
  11. ^ Ndereba and Tergat to compete in the Great Ethiopian Run. IAAF (2003-10-08). Retrieved on 2010-11-28.
  12. ^ Negash, Elshadai (2004-11-24). Sihine looks to defend title, as 20,000 runners are set for Great Ethiopian Run. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-11-28.
  13. ^ Negash, Elshadai (2008-11-24). Dechasa surprises, Ayalew defends - Great Ethiopian Run. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-11-28.
  14. ^ Jelila and Regassa win 10km in Addis Ababa. IAAF (2009-11-22). Retrieved on 2010-11-28.
  15. ^ Sihine and Tirunesh Dibaba take Great Ethiopian Run in record times . IAAF (2003-11-30). Retrieved on 2010-11-28.
  16. ^ Negash, Elshadai (2004-11-28). Getaneh takes upset win at Great Ethiopian Run. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-11-28.
  17. ^ Negash, Elshadai (2005-11-27). Negussie, Getaneh the winners at the Great Ethiopian Run. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-11-28.
  18. ^ Negash, Elshadai (2006-11-26). Merga completes domestic road hat-trick, Fekadu surprises at Great Ethiopian Run. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-11-28.
  19. ^ Negash, Elshadai (2007-11-25). Convincing victories for Kebede, Ayalew at Great Ethiopian Run. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-11-28.
  20. ^ Negash, Elshadai (2012-11-26). Gebrhiwet and Kebede take Addis Ababa 10-K wins. IAAF. Retrieved on 2013-02-14.
  21. ^ Teshome, Dagim (2014-01-03). [1]. GER. Retrieved on 2014-01-03.
  22. ^ Teshome, Dagim (2014-12-16). [2]. GER. Retrieved on 2014-12-16.
  23. ^ Teshome, Dagim (2014-12-16). [3]. GER. Retrieved on 2015-11-23.

External links[edit]