The 20th Edition GER Supports Birds’ Conservation in Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa January 10/2021 (ENA) The 2020 Great Ethiopian Run (GER), which is Ethiopia’s flagship annual event, has supported bird conservation in the country.

Adapting to the new normal of life under COVID-19, this year’s GER annual event was held on Sunday in the capital Addis Ababa with a reduced number of participants.

The race staged in three separate wave started in a way that allowed greater distancing among participants in a move to apply the World health Organization guidelines.

More than 12, 000 runners, including about 300 men and women athletes, have participated in the 10 Kilometers run, the biggest road race in Africa with 45,000 plus participants from all over the world every year since its inception in 2001.

Happy revelers of different speed experienced the truly epic event wearing red, yellow and green T-Shirts to symbolize the national flag and running or walking through the central parts of the city interrupting the usual traffic flow at early morning.

The race has begun at Meskel Square and ended around Atlas Hotel in Bole Sub-City with tough competition of athletes at the front.

Abe Gashahun from Amhara prisons, Tadese Worku from Debub (SNNPR) Police and Milkesa Mengesha from Sebeta Club are the first, second and third men winners, respectively.

Similarly, Tsige Gebreselema from Ethio-Athletics, Medhin Gebreslase from Commercial Bank of Ethiopia and Gebeyanesh Ayalew from defense won the respective ranks from women, it was learned.

The Great Ethiopian Run founder and Board chair Athlete Haile Gebrselassie, Ethiopian Athletics Head Bililign Mekoya and Total Specialist and B2B Business Manager Bekuretsion Weldeyesus awarded the winners.

The 20th edition GER race has supported for bird-safe energy infrastructure in Ethiopia, which aimed at birds’ conservation.

The idea behind this support was to associate the extreme efforts of marathon runners with the perilous journey migratory birds undertake, in order to generate public empathy and mitigate threats along the flyway.

Electrocution and collision with power lines have been identified as major causes of mortality among birds, killing millions of individuals every year.

Several power lines have dangerous designs that put birds at risk. Every year, more than 2000 Endangered Egyptian Vultures gather in Eastern Ethiopia to roost.

Consequently, the power line infrastructure in this region may have an upsetting impact on their global population.

BirdLife International, through its partnership with the Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society (EWNHS), was one of the sponsors and VIP attendees at the event within the framework of the “Egyptian Vulture New LIFE” project.

The project is being implemented in Europe and Africa, in 14 different countries.

Athlete Haile Gebrselassie, renowned economist Peter Middlebrook and British marathon Olympian Richard Nerurkar founded the Great Ethiopian Run 20 years ago.

More than 500, 000 people attended The Great Ethiopian Run in the past 20 years.

In 2013, GER become the first ever winner of the Social Award of the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races.

It is to be recalled that GER won the “Best International Running Event” award of the Challenge Awards in 2019.