Great Ethiopian Run holds first race

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The Great Ethiopian Run (GER) held its first race for the 2013 series of races on Sunday 13th January in Gondar.
This race which promotes the MDG (Millennium Development Goals) is the 83rd race staged by the Great Ethiopian Run since 2001and was carried out for the first time in the city of Gondar. A total of 1,200 participants joined the 5km race and the 1.2km children’s race that started and finished around Piazza.
From male competitors, Adeladlew Baze won the competitive race 10m ahead of Kasahun Abera, while from female competitors Hamelmal Akoyew won the race comfortably ahead of runner up Selam Bayabel.
Athlete Meselech Melkamu, who hails from Debre Markos and is an Olympian and 2008 African Champion of the All African Games, traveled with the Great Ethiopian Run team to Gondar.
“I am excited to see so many people at the pre-race entertainment, which includes music, quiz and “Azmari’s” competition. I won my first race as a junior here in Gondar and the city has a special place in my heart,” she stated.
Meselech also promised to offer proper running shoes to the three men and women, who came in first to third in the race. 
Kristen Knutson, from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), represented UN Ethiopia and handed out prizes to winners along with other guests.
“The MDG regional race in Gondar was a great example of the power of sport to bring communities together to celebrate and at the same time raise awareness about the importance of inclusive development,” she said.
The Mayor of Gondar, Getnet Amare, thanked the organizers and UN Ethiopia for bringing additional colour to the popular Gondar Timket festivities and appreciated the use of sports to promote important messages like the MDGs.
Getnet also handed over prizes to winners along with Agegnehu Engeda, the Amhara Regional State Athletics Federation President. 
Gondar is the fourth town in the Amhara Regional state to host a mass race following the races held in Bahir Dar, Lalibela and Debre Markos.