Ethiopia is well known for producing world leaders in long and middle-distance running, and many other athletes travel to the country to take advantage of opportunities for high-altitude training.
You don't have to be a professional to enjoy running in Ethiopia though and there are many events in which participants of all levels can compete.
The Great Ethiopian Run is a 10 km road race that takes place in Addis Ababa every November. International participants are welcomed and in 2015, it raised almost £45,000 for charity.
The "Women First" 5km run held annually in Addis Ababa has become one of the biggest women-only races in the world. The first race was held in May 2004 in light of recognizing the achievements of Ethiopia’s great female athletes and to support the broader changes regarding the role of women in Ethiopia’s economic and social life. Since then, the race has been promoting key messages about women and has become a celebration of the overall contribution of women to Ethiopia's development. The race is also used as a stepping stone for young, emerging female athletes. In 2008, Tiki Gelana won the race's 5th edition and she also finished 2nd in 2012, five months before winning her Olympic gold medal. Aselefech Mergia, the bronze medallist at the 2009 World Championship Marathon, and three times winner of the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon, won this race twice in 2007 and 2009. The next race will be held on Sunday 11th March 2018. Contact us if you'd like to take part.
The Hawassa Half Marathon, also known as the "Every One Campaign" race, serves to support a campaign to reduce newborn, child and maternal deaths in Ethiopia. It takes place in Hawassa, the regional capital of southern Ethiopia, at an altitude of 1700m. A section of the race course runs alongside Lake Hawassa, a scenic tourist destination popular with birdwatchers. As well as the half marathon distance (21km), there are also options for a 7km and a children's race. The next race will take place on Sunday 11th February 2018. Contact us if you'd like to take part.
The "Ethiotrail" races take place in Abyata-Shalla National Park in the Rift Valley, with marathon (41km), half-marathon (21km) and 12km distance races. 20% of the income from the races is invested in the conservation of the park, and for providing social services to communities living in and around the park. The race date for 2018 is yet to be confirmed.
For more information on all these events and more, see ethiopianrun.org