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Born To Run: Ethiopia’s Golden Girl

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Jan. 4, 2013
  • Updated Jan. 4, 2013 at 10:11 AM UTC
Tirunesh Dibaba is a three-time Olympic champion and multiple Carlsbad 5000 winner. Photo: PhotoRun.net

Tirunesh Dibaba gets profiled by CNN.

If you haven’t heard of the sleepy town called Bekoji in Ethiopia, you should learn about it.

Located 3,000 meters above sea level, Bekoji has produced a strong bunch of world-class runners. One of the most famous to hail from there is three-time Olympic champion Tirunesh Dibaba.

“Running is for me my job, but also my source of entertainment,” she tells CNN in a recent profile.”It’s because of running that I am well known around the world. For me, it’s the ultimate thing.”

RELATED: A Look Into Ethiopia’s Distance Running Legacy

Dibaba was chosen by the network as part of its Human to Hero series.

Along with Dibaba, one of the greatest distance runners of all time, Kenenisa Bekele comes from Bekoji.

“Bekoji has strong runners,” Dibaba contends. “Bekoji is great and can produce even greater athletes.”

Another common trait shared by Dibaba and Bekele is coach Sentayehu Eshetu.

“Sentayehu knew that my cousin Derartu Tulu ran, he knows that my sisters ran too,” says Dibaba. “That’s why he encouraged me to start running and used to tell me that I would be a great runner, he knew I would be a fast runner.”

For More: CNN

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at Competitor.com and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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