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UK Athletics

Ethiopia calling UK women

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UK Athletics is seeking athletes wishing to compete in the world’s biggest women’s-only race.


There are two places up for grabs in the 5km race, organised by former GB international Richard Nerurkar, to be run in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Sunday 1 April. To make sure the selected athletes have ample time to acclimatise, they would fly out to Ethiopia on 14/15 March.


UK Athletics Senior Coordinator for Endurance Spencer Barden said: “We realise the amount of time away and the close proximity of the event to the World Cross Country Championships will reduce the number of female athletes who are available. This is why we are asking those who would be available to make us aware of their interest. Once we know which athletes would be available for this exceptional development opportunity, we will consider form on the roads as well as cross country before coming to our decision as to who to invite.”


Athletes who are interested in being considered for selection should contact Barden at sbarden@ukathletics.org.uk by noon on Friday 16 February.


  • The Confident First Women’s 5km last year attracted more than 8,000 entries to the delight of Nerurkar’s organising team. World Juniors 5000m finalist Rehima Kedir won in a course record of 15 minutes 42.77 seconds, the seventh-fastest time in the world last year. The UK’s runners were Julia Bleasdale (Hillingdon AC) and Mary Wilkinson (Skipton and District AC). The official race report stated: “While the prizes went to the top club athletes, the occasion was more for the masses of girls and women all dressed in the lime green official race T-shirt who completed the 5km distance. Ethiopia's top athletes including Haile Gebrselassie, Meseret Defar, Gete Wami, Berhane Adere and Assefa Mezgebu were among those to greet the runners as they poured over the finish line.”