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Excitement is growing ahead of the 2012 CBE (Commercial Bank of Ethiopia) Great Ethiopian Run on Sunday, 25th November 2012, as runners, organizers, and the Addis Ababa public look ahead towards another big weekend of running in the capital, which is also expected to attract hundreds of running tourists from around the world. 36,000 runners are registered for next Sunday’s 10km race – exactly eleven years after the first edition of the race took place on 25th November 2001 when the number of participants was just 10,000. The number of runners from overseas has risen apace: there were 30 foreign runners in 2001, whereas this year around 500 runners are expected. Among them is a group from Knarvik in Norway who has collected close to $36,000 for the race’s official fundraising campaign.
Plans for this year’s race have expanded to cover the first-ever Sports Expo which will be staged at the Addis Ababa Exhibition Center starting next Wednesday. In line with running expos at major marathons around the world, the Great Ethiopian Run participants have to register at the Expo and collect their running t-shirts and race packs in the four days leading up to the race. The Expo and most of the coverage on the race, are also announcing the 125th anniversary of Addis Ababa, which is being celebrated this year.
In addition to the fun runners coming from abroad, the race will also welcome a number of Kenyan elite athletes and several European athlete managers for whom the race has become an annual stop in their international travels. Many will be present at the race’s press conference taking place at the Hilton Addis on Friday 23rd November 2012. The following day at Janmeda, the annual children’s race takes place in which more than 3,000 youngsters will participate. Prize money for the elite athletes remains by far the biggest on offer for any athletic competition in Ethiopia, with prizes of 40,000 birr for both men’s and women’s race champions.