FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
GEBRSELASSIE READY FOR STANDARD CHARTERED DUBAI MARATHON...
AND WORLD RECORD NO. 27?
Dubai (UAE): Although world records have come with the same metronomic
regularity he applies to his marathon running, Haile Gebrselassie won't be
drawn just yet on whether next week's Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon on
January 16 will be world record number 27.
But the running legend says he is in better shape than when he won in Dubai
last year in 2h:04m:53s, then the second fastest on record.
"Last year, I had a little injury two weeks before Dubai, but this year
everything is OK, I feel fine," he yesterday (Wednesday) by phone from his
home in Addis Ababa. "And I won't make the mistake of going too fast, like
Aiming for a first half in 62 minutes in 2008, the pacemakers seared
through the 21.1k in 61.27. It probably made the difference between
breaking his then world record of 2.04.26, set in Berlin 2007, by half a
minute instead of ending up a half a minute outside it, as was the case.
Geb proved that when he went back to Berlin last September, ran the first
half in 62.04, and came back in 61.55, to set his 26th world record and
become the first marathoner under 2.04. If he breaks that record in Dubai,
he will win a US$ 1,000,000 bonus in addition to the first place prize of
US$250,000 - already the biggest in marathon running.
After Berlin, he said he thought he could do "2.03 something" in Dubai "but
everything has to be perfect for another record - weather, pacemakers. If I
don't get injured, then maybe 2.02.59 is possible, but considering my shape
and my age, 2.03.30, or 2.03.20."
It is a tribute to his consistency that even at 35, with a workforce of
hundreds in half-a-dozen businesses in Addis, Gebrselassie still
concentrates on running.
"It's my top priority, because without running I wouldn't have anything
else. I get up at 5.30am every day and go training. And it's cold here in
the morning now. At Entoto (hills outside Addis), it's about plus one
(degree centigrade). I go to the office at about 9.30am and work until
four. Then I train again. I go to bed about 9.30pm, ten at the latest."
So there you have it, the ultimate recipe for success. Not forgetting that
you needed to have been born and nurtured at altitude, run thousands of
kilometres a year for the last twenty years, and have a great finishing