In two weeks’ time the international half-marathon race staged by Great Ethiopian Run returns to Hawassa for its 6th edition, following a two-year hiatus. Now under new sponsorship from CCECC, the race has attracted a top field of elite athletes as well as 150 fun runners including 25 runners from abroad. In addition, a 7km race and a series of children’s races are also in the event programme.
A total prize purse of 100,000 birr is on offer for the top 10 men and top 10 women in the two elite races. Each race winner will receive 20,000 birr. Over the past seven years the race has been won by Kenyan athletes on two occasions: Wilson Chebet in 2010 and Kimutai Kiplimo in 2011.
2017 Dubai Marathon champion Tamirat Tola holds the course record in Hawassa of 1:02:44 from his victory in 2013 while for the women Tsigereda Girma has the fastest time of 1:13:19. Tamirat’s win in Hawassa came at the start of an impressive rise to international fame which has seen him compete for Ethiopia at the 2015 IAAF World Cross Country Championships, the 2016 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships and the 2016 Rio Olympic 10,000m. His winning time in Dubai in January of 2:04:11 is the world’s fastest marathon time in 2017. Tamirat also won the 2015 Great Ethiopian Run.
Speaking about his delight that the event was returning to Hawassa, City Mayor Ato Tewodros Gebiba said “Hawassa is one of the fast-growing, clean, green and peaceful cities of Ethiopia and is therefore an ideal major tourism destination. We hope that all our visitors will explore the city which offers a range of natural and cultural attractions.”
The 2017 CCECC Hawassa Half Marathon comes at a busy time for Great Ethiopian Run organizers as it prepares to stage 3 races over consecutive weekends. The Hawassa event will be followed by the EMA Race on 30 April and the Europe Day Races for Schoolchildren on 7 May.