The Choice Women First 5km race was successfully held last Sunday, March 10 2013. Artist Chachi Tadesse was present at the event leading a short warm up session for participants a few minutes before the start of the race. Among famous athletes who participated, were Messert Defar and Gete Wami, who started the race alongside Haile Gebreselassie.
Altogether over 7,500 runners and 200 elite athletes took part in the race. Before the race started, Mulu Solomon, President of the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations (ECCSA), addressed participants with inspiring words and urged women to rise up to all occasions. The event, like always, was well organized and energized runners and onlookers alike with music stations at every kilometer playing upbeat sounds to encourage the participants. DKT Ethiopia is an organization that publicizes important women issues and as the main sponsor of the race, kept the name “Choice” with this year’s message, “Empower women to make a difference”. Over 7,600 participants collected the finishers’ medals. In the female ambassadors’ competition, Gudrun Graf, Ambassador of Austria, crossed the line in 29:56, while Belaynesh Zevadia, Ambassador of Israel, finished the race in 48:34. Botswana’s Deputy Ambassador, Benetia T. Chingapane (25:20), the Canadian Ambassador’s spouse, Erica Usher (37:25) and the US Ambassador’s wife Anita Booth (42:44) all completed the race in style. The top three winners; Senbere Teferi, Selam Abere and Tsegereda Girma received 10,000 birr, 7000 birr and 4,000 birr, respectively. Best costume design prizes were also given out to participants who fashionably designed the race T-shirt. The Women’s race, which started back in May 2004 to recognize the achievements of Ethiopia’s great female athletes at the Athens Olympics and to support the broader changes regarding the role of women in Ethiopia’s economic and social life, has become a very popular event women look forward to.