Tragedy in Ethiopian running community

06.10.2009 World

A murder-suicide claimed the lives of several people with direct ties to Ethiopia‘s distance running community, including the parents of marathoner Leila Aman. Writes Race Results Weekly. adds that on Monday, Sep 29, was a normal day in the lives of a group of Ethiopian marathon runners coached by Hadji Adilo. After another session in the afternoon, many of the athletes went home to rest and recover from a hard day of training. Their lives were then dramatically altered after they discovered some tragic news at about 9 p.m. The parents and sister of one of the group‘s top runners, Leila Aman, who were also the mother and father in law to 2008 Boston Marathon and Houston Marathon champion Dire Tune, were shot and killed by Aman‘s brother in-law. The incident has forced some of the runners to stop training during a period of mourning. The runners are also thinking about canceling competitive plans this fall. Tune is considering the New York City Marathon on Nov. 1. The tragedy has rocked what is considered one of Ethiopia‘s largest running dynasties. The central figure of this dynasty is Hadji Adilo, a former member of the Ethiopian National Team in the marathon before retiring in 2004 to take up coaching. Hadji Adilo convinced many of his siblings to take up the sport seriously, including brothers Kassim and Hussein, sister Radiya, and cousin Kelil and Leila Aman. Many members of the dynasty have married runners. Kassim Adilo married Houston Marathon champion Teyiba Erkesso (2:24.18); Hadji‘s wife is African 3000m steeplechase champion Zemzem Ahmed; and Kelil Aman is the husband of Tune. Marathon world record holder Haile Gebrselassie even stopped by to pay his respects. „I happened to be in Assela and was really shocked when I heard about it,” he said. “This is something that is very difficult to forget.“

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