Copyright – 2021 – Athletics Illustrated

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia will play host on Sunday to the 20th Great Ethiopian Run. The event is Africa’s largest sports event since the coronavirus pandemic and related restrictions were put in place.

The race is being staged in three separate wave starts. The purpose is to allow greater distancing among participants. Following guidelines given to the organisers by national health authorities, the field is limited to 300. The start of the race is at its traditional venue in Meskel Square but the finish has been moved to the Atlas Hotel in Bole.

Haile Gebrselassie, also known as “Gebr” created the event. He is confident that the 10-kilometre road race will continue its tradition.

Gebr, speaking at the pre-race press conference in downtown Addis Ababa Friday, said “the race will continue to make positive contributions beyond prize money.”

The 27-time world record holder has built a school from race proceeds. He is also partnering with the federal government for more.

The press conference was also attended by Kenyan running great Paul Tergat as well as Ethiopia’s Minister for Culture and Tourism Habtamu Sisay Awas. Awas said, “the Great Ethiopian Run had helped enhance the country’s image.”

Both Tergat and Gebr spoke of the competition between the two and how it had enhanced the sport of athletes.

For the race, three Kenyans Evan Kipkemei, Solomon Boit, and Kennedy Kimutai will be toeing-the-line amongst 300 elite runners on Sunday. They will be seeking to grab a piece of the 100,000 Birr or $2500 USD.

Defending champion Abe Gashahun of Ethiopia and countryman Mukhtar Edris will lead the home side.

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