ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia’s double Olympic champion and multiple world record holder Haile Gebrselassie ran his last race in Addis Ababa by taking part in the 2015 Great Ethiopian Run 10km earlier today (November 25).

Starting the race from the mass start ahead of 37,000 runners, Haile ran solo in barefeet and finished in a time of 32 minutes and 48 seconds.

“I did this for Abebe Bekila, the father of running in Ethiopia and for the whole of Africa. He is our inspiration,” said Haile at the end of the race.

Despite announcing at Friday’s press conference that he was now just ‘running for fun’, Haile did his customary warm-up forty-five minutes before the start and ran the whole race in isolation from the masses behind him.

Many of Ethiopia’s top athletes including Tirunesh and Genzebe Dibaba, Sileshi Sihin, Mare Dibaba, Gezahagne Abera, Tesfaye Tola, Anbessy Tolosa, Ketema Negussie and Tessema Abshiro came to honour Haile and lined the finish straight as Haile with arms raised came down through the finish.

“Where did they all come from?!” exclaimed Haile, expressing his surprise at the reception from his fellow athletes.

“I’ve had some special moments in my career, and this will always be one of them. I particularly want to thank my wife and my family, and the Ethiopian public who have supported me over the past twenty-five years.

After the race Haile was presented with a special award created in diamond and gold by the disabled artist Biruk Yeshitela who earlier in the morning had completed a special 100m event to recognise his miraculous recovery, having once been told he would never be able to walk again.


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