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Paula Radcliffe to start Great Run

British athlete Paula Radcliffe will take on a new role this weekend in Addis when she acts as race starter for the Great Ethiopian Run on November 22. The marathon world record-holder will share the task with Haile Gebrselassie and Derartu Tulu as a record entry field of 33,000 takes to the streets of Addis for the 10kilometre race.

Derartu defeated Radcliffe in the recent New York Marathon where the Briton finished fourth. It will be the 35-year-old’s first visit to Ethiopia and, as well as supporting the race, Radcliffe will have an opportunity to renew friendships with many Ethiopian athletes.
They include Derartu and Gete Wami against whom she has competed during her 17-year international career. According to Haile, the announcement of her presence at Ethiopia’s annual running festival has already sent ripples of excitement through the athletics community in the country.
The greatest distance runner in history has been instrumental in the race’s success and development since its inception in 2001, and he said: “Paula is a great athlete and a wonderful person. We want to give her a great experience of the race and of the running scene in Addis Ababa.”
Race Director Richard Nerurkar expressed his delight at Radcliffe’s trip to Ethiopia by saying: “For many years Paula has promised that she would one day come to the race. She is so well-known to the Ethiopian public who will be so excited to see her here for the race. I’m sure that Paula will also enjoy the chance to meet so many of her Ethiopian athlete friends in their home city.”
Since its inception in November 2001, the 10 kilometers race has become an established fixture on the international athletics calendar and has also attracted a growing number of participants from abroad. More than 33,000 runners are expected to take part this year, representing small increase from the 31,500 who participated last year but a massive growth from the 10,000 who took in the race’s first edition eight years ago.
The 10 kilometers course in the centre of Addis takes in some of the city’s well-known landmarks such as the National Theatre, the National Palace and the Addis Ababa Hilton and has the perfect start and finishing area in Meskel Square.
For more Great Ethiopian Run

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