Great Ethiopian Run 2020 supports bird conservation in Ethiopia

The Great Ethiopian Run (GER) is the one of the world's most famous marathon initiatives. Since its inception in 2000, GER has staged over 100 races in different parts of Ethiopia, with thousands of participants and an audience base of another five million. In 2013, GER become the first ever winner of the Social Award of the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races. Additionally, GER won the “Best International Running Event” award of The Challenge Awards in 2019.
In 2020, the Egyptian Vulture New LIFE project began supporting GER as part of the Mile for the Egyptian Vulture campaign to lobby for bird-safe energy infrastructure in Ethiopia. The idea behind this support was to associate the extreme efforts of marathon runners with the perilous journey migratory birds undertake, in order to generate public empathy and mitigate threats along the flyway. Electrocution and collision with powerlines have been identified as major causes of mortality among birds, killing millions of individuals every year. In Ethiopia, many powerlines have dangerous designs that puts birds at risk. In 2019, 31 dead vultures were found under just two small powerlines in Eastern Ethiopia. Every year, more than 2000 Endangered Egyptian Vultures gather in Eastern Ethiopia to roost. Consequently, the power line infrastructure in this region may have a devastating impact on their global population.