Gebrselassie Proud Of The Race He Founded

Haile Gebreselassie founded the Great Run in 2001. Photo: Eight Lane.org

The Great Ethiopian Run is now more popular than ever.

In his home country of Ethiopia former marathon world-record holder Haile Gebrselassie is known as the “Little Emperor.” Yesterday, this nickname held true when the multiple Olympic medalist supervised the start of Ethiopia’s largest mass-participation running event, the Great Ethiopian Run.

Gebrselassie founded the event in 2001. At this year’s edition, held in Addis Ababa’s Meskel Square, a total of 36,500 runners took part.

“What I expected was a normal race, a race that is organised by the Ethiopians, nothing else,” admits Gebrselassie. “We started small and thanks go especially to Newcastle’s Great North Run organisers. They helped this event. I am really happy now. We are very close to the big international events like the London Marathon and the New York Marathon.”

The race’s roots trace back to Gebrselassie’s friendship with Nova International’s Brendan Foster, whose company organizes the Great Run series in the United Kingdom.

“This is a very good opportunity for those who don’t have races outside Ethiopia,” Gebrselassie said.

For More: Herald Scotland

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