Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – The marathon has always been an event closer to the heart of Ethiopians ever since Abebe Bikila won their first ever Olympic gold after running the 42.195km race in the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome barefoot. Bikila defended his marathon title in Tokyo four years later, while Mamo Wolde took the 1968 title in Mexico making it an impressive hat-trick of victories in the global showpiece event.

It would be 32 years before Ethiopia would taste victory over the marathon with Gezhagne Abera’s victory in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Ethiopian marathon running has also progressed over the last 12 years with the proliferation of the road running providing young runners the opportunity to take aim at the event at a younger age, set the bar high in terms of personal best, and make a comfortable living from the sport. Read more.