Huge field for Great Ethiopian Run in Addis Ababa

Ethiopian athletics legend Haile Gebrselassie. Photo credit: Daily Nation.

In Addis Ababa

More than 40,000 athletes, among them Kenyans, will battle it out for prizes in the 17th edition of the Great Ethiopian Run in Addis Ababa Sunday.

The race will be run over 10km. And founder of the race, Ethiopian long distance running legend Haile Gebrselassie, has expressed satisfaction with progress made so far, saying the increasing number of participants each year is good for the race.

On Saturday, Gebrselassie told Nation Sport that the race has grown tremendously, partly because running is a culture for most Ethiopians.

“I’m pleased with the turn out. The number of participants in the race has been growing bigger and bigger since we started in 2001, making it one of the best-attended races in Africa so far,” Haile said.

Kenyan athletics who were invited by the organizers of the competition – Sheila Jepkemoi and Ezekiel Kemboi (not to be confused with the legendary steeplechase champion) will be battling it out in 10km races.

Both said they were ready for the s race after good training in Iten despite being the only Kenyans competing here.

“Iten’s altitude is just the same as Addis Ababa’s and I’m confident that I will do well in the race today. I will use the race to gauge my preparedness for a race in China in two weeks,” said Jepkemoi.

Also invited in to the competition are groups of athletes from China.