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With a new winner’s prize of 200,000 Ethiopian birr (USD $3,575) it is no surprise that the 23rd edition of Ethiopia’s annual international 10km will attract strong elite fields in both men’s and women’s races.

Seeking an unprecedented fourth victory in the race, following wins in 2016, 2020 and 2022, Abe Gashahun is the hot favourite in the men’s race.

In the women’s race Medina Eisa will be looking to repeat her win in the annual Women First 5km race in March when she also broke the course record.

Interestingly, both favourites hail from the town of Debre Birhan, 120km northeast of the capital of Addis Ababa, which was also the hometown of Ethiopia’s legendary barefoot runner Abebe Bikila.

A total of 470 elite athletes are registered for the two elite races which start at 8.13am (men) and 8.20am (women) on Sunday morning.

Leading athletes entered on Tuesday 14th November 2023:


Abe Gashahun: the three-time winner has an outstanding record in this race, having won in 2016, 2020 and 2022 and having placed 5th in 2018.un 10K race.

Still only 25 years old, Gashahun first represented Ethiopia in 2015 in the junior race at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Guiyang, China where he finished 8th. In 2019 he finished 4th in the 5,000m at the All Africa Games held in Rabat, Morocco.

Moges Tuemay: Tuemay has competed three times in this race, having finished 2nd in 2017, 10th in 2020 and 4th in 2021. He has a 10km road PB of 27:50 when finishing 8th at the Adizero Road to Records races in Herzogenaurach in Germany in September 2021. He also won the 10,000m title at the 2022 African Athletics Championships in 2022.

Dinkalem Ayele: Ayele represent Ethiopia at the 2019 World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus in Denmark where he finished 11th in the junior race. Last year he placed 2nd in the Buenos Aires Half Marathon. He was also 9th in this race in 2018.

Other leading athletes:

Tesfaye Deriba: Commercial Bank Club

Halefom Tesfaye: Ethio Electric Power Club

Levi Chelangat (Uganda)

Jacob Sande (Uganda)

Naman Kipyeko (Uganda)


Medina Eisa: Eisa has just completed another stellar year, having placed 4th at the recent World 5km Road Championship in Riga in Latvia and 6th over 5000m at the World Championships in Budapest. In 2022 she was the world junior champion over 5000m. This will be Eisa’s first appearance in the international 10km in Addis Ababa.

Melknat Wudu: like Eisa, Wudu is coached by Tewodros Hailu, husband of Meseret Defar. She won the silver medal behind Eisa at the 2022 World Junior 5000m championship in Colombia. She has twice previously competed in the international 10km, having placed 5th in 2020 and 3rd in 2021.

Zeineba Yimer: a former winner of the race in 2017, Yimer is back in great form having won the 2023 Barcelona Marathon in March and having placed 4th in the Berlin Marathon in September in a PB of 2:19:07. She has twice represented Ethiopia at the world half-marathon championships, finishing 5th in 2018 and 4th in 2020.

Megertu Alemu: Alemu has a strong record at the World Marathon majors having placed 2nd in this year’s London Marathon and 3rd in the Chicago Marathon just six weeks ago in a personal best of 2:17:09.

Another athlete to watch is the Haji Adello-coached athlete Workinesh Edessa who placed 4th in the 2022 Berlin Marathon in a time of 2:18:51.

Additional reporting by Bizuayehu Wagaw

About the elite races at the Great Ethiopian Run International 10km (2001-2022):

  • The first race winners in 2001 were Haile Gebrselassie and Berhane Adere. The winners of the 22nd edition last year were Abe Gashahun and Tigist Ketema.
  • Only two athletes, Genet Getaneh (in 2004 and 2005) and Wude Ayalew (in 2007 and 2008) have successfully defended their race titles.
  • The elite races have always been won by Ethiopian athletes. Kenyan athletes have twice finished second, once in the men’s race and once in the women’s race.
  • Wude Ayalew and Abe Gashahun are the only athletes to have won the race three times: Wude in 2007, 2008, and 2014 and Abe in 2016, 2020 and 2022.
  • The fastest winning time for the men’s race is by Deriba Merga in 2006 (28:18) and for the women’s race by Yalemzerf Yehualaw in 2021 (31:17)

The 2023 Sofi Malt Great Ethiopian Run International 10km takes place on Sunday 19th November 2023. 45,000 runners have registered for the race. The race is being live streamed on EBC with start times of 8.13am (men) and 8.20am (women) local time (GMT + 3)

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