As part of the Great Ethiopian Run’s (GER) ongoing campaign to promote healthy living among the public in Ethiopia, the GER has announced plans to stage a virtual 5km race. All funds raised from the race will be donated to the fight against the COVID-19 virus. This comes as a 500,000 birr donation was previously made by Great Ethiopian Run for Covid-19 National Fund raising Committee.
“Stay Safe Ethiopia” is a campaign launched by Great Ethiopian Run (GER) to encourage the public to stay safe and healthy during this time and to support the efforts being made by government, to protect our citizens from the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Registration for the race which is being called “Stay Safe Ethiopia – 5km virtual race” started on Monday, May 04 with the race itself taking place over a five-day period in early June, the organizers announced.
At Monday’s race launch, the renowned artist Biruk Yeshitila, in the presence of the Merewa Choir group, will attempt to break his 2015 Great Ethiopian Run record of 135 seconds to complete 50m.
“Which if achieved, will result in a pledge in his name to the fight against the COVID-19 coronavirus. “Biruk is an inspiration for us all. If he commits to this challenge, then so should we all,” said Dagmawit Amare from the GER, who is overseeing plans for the race.
Participants are being asked to register by phone or visiting GER’s website where they will receive details on how to register for the race. Further race information is being given through a telegram group for those who have registered. A registration fee of 100 birr has been set for the participants with all fees to be donated to combat COVID-19.
“This is a typical Great Ethiopian Run initiative,” said Michael Mesfin, who has already decided to register for the race. “It encourages us to stay fit. But this is about more than sport and our own fitness. It captures the spirit of the moment, where as a country, we need to unite, protect ourselves and help others. Just by taking part, we can all have that winning feeling, and I for one, will encourage many of my friends to take part.”
Participants will use an app for recording their race distance and finishing time. Details of how to use the app will be given after participants register for the race. Participants are also being given the chance to design their own race number which they can wear while completing the run. The idea is to give participants the chance to use their own slogan expressing their way of wanting to unite in fighting the virus.
A maximum number of 500 places are available for the race. Every participant in the virtual race will receive their own finishers’ medal, which will be delivered to their homes.