Great Ethiopian Run: Azmeraw Bekele & Sule Utura to defend respective titles
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Azmeraw Bekele and Sule Utura, winners of last yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Great Ethiopian Run 10km, have confirmed that they will defend their titles in the 11th edition of the race which takes place in Addis Ababa tomorrow.
Bekele will face a stiff challenge from two top Kenyan athletes Nicholas Kipkemboi and Peter Lemuya. Kipkemboi is in good form after a win in a cross-county race in Kenya last weekend. Utura also comes up against Kenyan opposition in the form of Beatrice Kiplagat and Ethiopian marathon runners Atsede Bayissa and Tiki Gelana.
This year the total prize purse has been increased to 140,000 birr with 40,000 birr on offer for both male and female winners. Chip timing using the latest ULTRA timing technology is again being used for the elite competition.
Around 36,000 participants are expected to toe the line on Sunday, the biggest ever field assembled for the race. This year has also attracted a record number of participants from abroad, many of whom are running in support of a number of charity organizations working in Ethiopia.
The Ethiopian Airlines AmbassadorsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ competition sees a dozen ambassadors from the international community vying for the top award.
Twenty four tricycle participants will take part in the Tricycle Races staged in Meskel Square one hour before the main 10km on Sunday morning.
The raceÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fundraising campaign known as Ã¢â‚¬Å“Running for a childÃ¢â‚¬Â has also set a new record this year by raising more than 1 million birr with more monies due to be collected over race weekend. In addition other charities are expected to raise more than five million birr through fundraising from the run.
A 2012 London Olympic program known as International Inspiration which aims to connect young people in twenty developing countries across the world to the Olympic Games is being launched today in connection with the run with a special childrenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s run being staged in honor of the launch at tomorrowÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s series of childrenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s races supported by Plan International.
1. Azmeraw Bekele 29:25
2. Yenenew Alamrew 29:26
3. Berhanu Bekele 29:27
4. Tigabu G/Mariam 29:30
5. Seboka Nigusse 29:33
6. Assefa Mengistu 29:40
1. Sule Utura 33:35
2. Abebech Afework 33:46
3. Ahaza Kiros 33:59
4. Bizunesh Urgessa 34:01
5. Makeda Arane 34:10
6. Hiwot Ayalew 34:30