By: Amb Greg Dorey
Somalilandsun – The amazing 10 kilometre Great Ethiopian Run (GER) took place last Sunday.
And despite a number staying away because of security concerns, some 37,000 participants competed. The sight of the flood of runners, most in matching yellow and green shirts, was quite something to behold. The change of course route this year presented a challenge – with more steep inclines than previously. Congratulation to athletes Atsedu Tsegay and Netsanet Gudeta who won the race overall.
The GER incorporates a free-standing Ambassadors’ race. During the Cold War, it was said that a race took place between the Soviet and American Ambassadors to Moscow, which the US won. Izvestia reported that “the Soviet Ambassador came second, but the American finished next to last”. So I am happy to announce that in the GER I finished in fourth place, whereas the Irish Ambassador was last but three.
The British Embassy helped to launch the GER over a decade ago and has been sponsoring it ever since: athletics mega-star Haile Gebreselassie has also been associated with the initiative since the beginning. It is the single international sporting event on Ethiopia’s calendar and brings much-needed attention and tourist income to the country. It also fosters domestic sporting talent, including that of disabled competitors. This year, some British Members of Parliament also took part. GER also kindly displayed “Sport is GREAT” banners supporting our “GREAT” Campaign to promote the UK as a choice destination to visit, study in and do business with.
Did I mention there were only four Ambassadorial runners this year? At least I knocked 5 minutes off my time from last year. Well done, Ambassador Aidan O’Hara!
Great Ethiopian Run is an event management company operating in Ethiopia since 2001 with the mission of staging mass-participation athletic competitions in Ethiopia.
For more on The amazing 10 kilometre Great Ethiopian Run (GER) visit http://www.ethiopianrun.org/