13 March 2022 – the 19th edition of Ethiopia’s popular women’s-only run returned to its normal size and was staged amid great fanfare in Bole, Addis Ababa earlier today.
Just short of 7,500 participants took part in the race, including elite athletes, ambassadors, and Ethiopia’s Icon Women.
The first prize of 50,000 birr was won by 22-year old Fentaye Belayneh who has a best time on the track of 14 minutes and 44 seconds which she ran in Hengelo, Holland, just under three years ago.
Belayneh won in a time of 15 minutes and 30 seconds, 11 seconds down on her winning time last year. She finished ahead of Mekdes Abera (15:33) and Kalkidan Fante 15:37). All three athletes are members of the adidas development group. Belayneh ran a cagey race, waiting until the last 300m to make her move, having followed the pace until that point.
The Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde came to the race to make the opening speech and then started the race at 9am after the playing of Ethiopia’s national anthem. Also in attendance were Haile Gebrselassie and Meseret Defar, in her officla role as Women First Race Ambassador.
The first foreign athlete to cross the line was Lea Eymann in a time just outside 23 minutes, while the first foreign ambassador was Kira Smith Sindbjerg from the Danish Embassy.