Aberu Kebede
Personal information
Born12 September 1989 (1989-09-12) (age 31)
Shewa, Ethiopia
Medal record

Aberu Kebede Shewaye (born 12 September 1989) is an Ethiopian long distance runner who specializes in road running competitions. Her half marathon best of 1:07:39 is one of the fastest ever by an Ethiopian woman. She gained a bronze at the 2009 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships with the performance and has won at the Berlin Marathon, Stramilano Half Marathon and the Rotterdam Marathon. She has a marathon best of 2:20:30 hours.


Born in Shewa, Ethiopia, she made her first appearances in cross country running. Having come third in the junior race at the 2007 Jan Meda Cross Country International,[1] she qualified for the 2007 IAAF World Cross Country Championships, where she finished in 16th in the junior women's race.[2] She was fourth at the 2008 Women First 5K in Addis Ababa.[3]

She won the Stramilano Half Marathon in April 2009 and, pleased at having set a course record and personal best of 1:08:43, she turned her attention to the Ethiopian Championships.[4] She scored a national title in the 10,000 metres at the Ethiopian Athletics Championships in May, beating Mamitu Daska and Werknesh Kidane to the domestic honours.[5] Later that month, she ran at the World 10K Bangalore and was beaten by a few seconds, eventually finishing in third.[6] She improved her 10,000 m best in Utrecht in June, setting a time of 30:48.26.[7] She was selected for the 2009 World Championships in Athletics, but ultimately did not compete.

Aberu ran at the Women's 5K Challenge in London and took third again in another close finish.[8] Running at her first senior championships, she led with Mary Keitany for much of the 2009 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships. Eventually Keitany broke away and Aberu ended up with a bronze after losing out on a sprint finish against Philes Ongori. Still, she managed to improve her best to a time of 1:07:39 and lead the Ethiopian women to the team silver medal.[9] This time made her the second fastest Ethiopian woman over the distance after Dire Tune.[10] In November, she finished in 1:07:59 for third at the Delhi Half Marathon, again behind Keitany who broke the course record.[11]

Aberu opened the year with a debut over the marathon distance. At the Dubai Marathon she was beaten by Mamitu Daska to the US$250,000 prize pot, but she still managed second place on her debut, recording a time of 2:24:26.[12] She made a strong start to the 2010 Rotterdam Marathon and never relinquished the lead, winning in a time of 2:25:25.[13] She led the Berlin Marathon with a front-running performance, beating fellow Ethiopian Bezunesh Bekele to win the race. She set a new best time of 2:23:58 and ran the second half of the race faster than her first, crossing the line a minute ahead of the opposition.[14] She was out-done in a sprint finish at the Delhi Half Marathon in November, taking fourth place four seconds behind race winner Aselefech Mergia.[15] She topped the podium at the 2011 Lisbon Half Marathon, beating Ana Dulce Felix to the line.[16] At that year's London Marathon she was among the leading runners but was overtaken by a number of rivals in the latter stages and ended up in ninth place.[17]

The 2012 Dubai Marathon saw her run a personal best of 2:20:33 to move into the top twenty fastest women ever, although the high quality of the race meant she finished in fifth place overall.[18][19] A sixth-place finish at the 2012 London Marathon followed and she narrowly missed out on a spot on the Olympic team with her run of 31:09.28 for fifth at the 10,000 m trial at the Prefontaine Classic. She topped the podium at the 2012 Berlin Marathon and reduced her personal best by three further seconds.[20] Her year ended with wins at the Great Ethiopian Run and the Ethiopian Clubs Cross Country Championships.[21][22]

She won the 2013 Tokyo Marathon, her first race of the year, and was six seconds off the course record in windy conditions.[23]

Personal bests

Event Time (h:m:s) Venue Date
10,000 metres 30:48.26 Utrecht, Netherlands 14 June 2009
10 kilometres 31:05 Birmingham, United Kingdom 11 October 2009
20 kilometres 1:03:57 Birmingham, United Kingdom 11 October 2009
Half marathon 1:07:39 Birmingham, United Kingdom 11 October 2009
Marathon 2:20:30 Berlin, Germany 30 September 2012

Competition record

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
2007 World Cross Country Championships Mombasa, Kenya 16th Junior race Individual
2009 World Half Marathon Championships Birmingham, United Kingdom 3rd Half marathon Individual
2nd Half marathon Team
2013 World Championships Moscow, Russia 13th Marathon Individual

Road race wins


  1. ^ Negash, Elshadai (25 February 2007). "Tola, the surprise package of Ethiopian XC trials". IAAF. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  2. ^ "Junior Race - W Final". IAAF. Archived from the original on 3 February 2011. Retrieved 12 April 2010.
  3. ^ Negash, Elshadai (25 March 2008). "Gelana takes women first 5km in Addis Ababa". IAAF. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 12 April 2010.
  4. ^ Sampaolo, Diego (5 April 2009). "Kimugul and Kebede take Stramilano Half Marathon titles". IAAF. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  5. ^ Negash, Elshadai (3 May 2009). "Ahmed and Kebede sprint for victory - Ethiopian Championships Days 3 and 4". IAAF. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  6. ^ Krishnan, Ram. Murali (31 May 2009). "Merga and Mergia take thrilling 10km victories in Bangalore". IAAF. Archived from the original on 23 July 2009. Retrieved 12 April 2010.
  7. ^ Monti, David (15 June 2009). "Melkamu stuns with 29:53.80 run in Utrecht". IAAF. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  8. ^ Brown, Matthew (6 September 2009). "Cheruiyot over Masai to end Ethiopia's dominance in London". IAAF. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  9. ^ Turner, Chris (11 October 2009). "Frustration turns to delight for Keitany - WOMEN's RACE REPORT - World Half Marathon, Birmingham". IAAF. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  10. ^ "Half Marathon All Time". IAAF. 10 November 2009. Archived from the original on 30 April 2010. Retrieved 12 April 2010.
  11. ^ "Keitany sub-1:07 again, Merga defends in Delhi Half Marathon". IAAF. 1 November 2009. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  12. ^ Butcher, Pat (21 January 2010). "Gebrselassie fights off back pain and late race challenge to collect third Dubai victory". IAAF. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  13. ^ van Hemert, Wim (11 April 2010). "Makau storms 2:04:48 in Rotterdam". IAAF. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  14. ^ Butcher, Pat (26 September 2010). "Makau and Kebede triumph in rainy Berlin". IAAF. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  15. ^ Murali, Ram. Krishnan (21 November 2010). "Mergia recaptures women's crown, Mutai foils Ethiopian sweep at Delhi Half Marathon". IAAF. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  16. ^ Fernandes, Antonio Manuel (20 March 2011). "Tadese blazes 58:30 in Lisbon, second fastest Half Marathon ever". IAAF. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  17. ^ Brown, Matthew (17 April 2011). "Mutai and Keitany dominate and dazzle in London". IAAF. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  18. ^ Butcher, Pat (27 January 2012). "Abshero stuns with 2:04:23 debut, Mergia clocks 2:19:31 in Dubai". IAAF. Retrieved 4 February 2012.
  19. ^ "Marathon All Time". IAAF. 27 January 2012. Archived from the original on 24 February 2012. Retrieved 4 February 2012.
  20. ^ Butcher, Pat (30 September 2012). "Close victory for Mutai but more straightforward for Kebede in Berlin - REPORT". IAAF. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
  21. ^ Negash, Elshadai (4 December 2012). "Merga and Kebede take the spoils in Ethiopian Clubs XC". IAAF. Retrieved 14 February 2013.
  22. ^ Negash, Elshadai (26 November 2012). "Gebrhiwet and Kebede take Addis Ababa 10-K wins". IAAF. Retrieved 14 February 2013.
  23. ^ Nakamura, Ken (24 February 2013). "Kimetto clocks course record 2:06:50 at Tokyo Marathon". IAAF. Retrieved 9 March 2013.