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Great Ethiopian Run hits the streets again after 2-year hiatus

25,000 men, women dressed in green, yellow, and red sporting jerseys bring sense of optimism to city impacted by conflict

Seleshi Tessema  

Great Ethiopian Run hits the streets again after 2-year hiatus
21st Great Ethiopian Run

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, The Great Ethiopian Run, a 10-kilometer (6-mile) international road race, returned to the streets of the capital Addis Ababa on Sunday after a two-year hiatus due to the conflict with Tigray insurgents and COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

The race, founded in 2001 by Haile Gebrselassie, a retired Ethiopian Olympic gold medalist, was replaced by a virtual competition in 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

While a state of emergency was announced last year as a result of the war’s escalation, the event was also pushed back until 2022.

On a windy Sunday morning, according to the organizers, 25,000 men and women of all ages dressed in green, yellow, and red sporting jerseys brought color and a sense of optimism to the capital, which has been reeling from the impact of the year-long Tigray conflict.

Abay Getachew, 35, a businessman who ran in the marathon, told Anadolu Agency that the resumption of the race is a good sign, showing that normalcy is returning to the war-torn city.

“The war had had a negative impact on the economy, and several embassies and international organizations relocated their staff,” he said, adding that the conflict has receded and foreigners are returning.

Selamawit Belay, a 25-year-old civil servant, described the race as a carnival that allowed the young to enjoy unity and fun. “I will be here next year with my family,” he said.​​​​​​​

Source: Anadolu Agency

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