ADDIS ABABA, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- Kenyan Olympic champion Vivian Cheruiyot will be a guest of honor at the Great Ethiopian Run (GER), an Ethiopian official said on Wednesday.
GER Director Ermias Ayele said the invitation to Cheruiyot, 2016 Rio Olympics 5,000m champion, is part of a wider strategy to introduce the annual 10kms road race to the wider world. The mayor of Addis Ababa city Diriba Kuma will be another guest of honor at the road race.
Ethiopia is a fierce competitor with southern neighbor Kenya in the middle distance and long-distance competitions as both countries work in recent years to advertise their countries as international running destinations.
According to Ayele, the 10km race is expected to have record total of 47,500 runners.
The road race will also feature participation of 2,000 foreigners composed from Ethiopia' s expat community and tourists.
"The race is part of GER's efforts to promote running and healthy lifestyle among the Ethiopian public," Ayele said.
The race was initiated in 2001 by Ethiopian running legend Haile Gebreselassie as part of his efforts to turn running from an elite sport into a hobby of life.