A sea of 40,000 people in green and yellow who flooded the main streets of Addis on Sunday (November 21) in the 10km annual Great Ethiopian Run affirm Ethiopians' commitment for peace and togetherness. The warm and colorful sport event that kicked off at 8.30 a.m. saw the participation of the legendary Ethiopian middle and long-distance runner Haile Gebrselassie who bade farewell to competitive running, making his decision official before his fellow countrymen. Haile Gebrselassie ran barefoot in remembrance of the Ethiopian athlete Abebe Bikila who broke a marathon record by a wide margin after running without shoes in Rome in September 1960. The founder of the Great Ethiopian Run, Haile Gebreselassie, broke a total of 27 records in 1000m, 5000m, in half-marathons and in marathons.
The event also saw the participation of the 97-year-old veteran athlete Wami Biratu who had run alongside such Ethiopian legends as Abebe Bikila and Mamo Wolde back in the 1960s. The record times for the Great Ethiopian Run were 28:37 minutes for men and 37:57 for women. This year, Mamitu Desta broke the women's record, at 37:18. Tamirat Tola finished first, at 28:44, for the men.
Ministers, ambassadors and other personalities also took part in the run