FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
HAILE GEB FOR DUBAI - AGAIN
If at first you don't succeed... you go back to Dubai for another crack at
the marathon world record. At least, you do if your name is Haile
Although he won both previous Dubai races easily, an overenthusiastic first
half ruined his first record attempt, in 2008; and turning into the teeth
of a rainstorm at 30k washed out 2009. So Haile Geb goes back for a third
attempt at a world record in the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon on
January 22, 2010.
The most famous man in Ethiopia – and probably the busiest as well – took
time out in Addis Ababa last week to sign another contract with Dubai
co-organisers, Peter Connerton and Ahmad Al Kamali.
"I think it's still possible for me to break the world record there," said
Gebrselassie, "but everything has to be right, and I'm not going to spoil
my chances by predicting it. I still can't believe I didn't break the world
record in 2008. Everything was perfect except the pace for the first half
of the race, which was too fast. Last year the rain was bad and I wasn't
feeling 100%, so to win and prove I could run well in the wet weather was a
bonus for me".
When the race was upgraded two years ago, with an overall prize pot of two
million dollars, marathon record holder Gebrselassie was the obvious target
for the organisers. "There are few, if any, greater names in athletics
history than Haile Gebrselassie," said race director Connerton. "So once
again we are proud and delighted that he has chosen to make his next
marathon appearance in Dubai in three months time".
"It's only a short flight from Addis (to Dubai)," said Haile,"the weather
is usually beautiful, the course itself is very, very good, and the
athletes are treated really well. I'm already training hard, and looking
forward to running again in Dubai.
"For the three months leading up to Dubai, I start slowly with a number of
long runs. I will then do a month of speed training and by December
everything has to be ready. I will do a number of speed "tests," these are
very important to gauge how well I am running and what I still need to do
to be absolutely ready for a world record attempt.
Now 36, Haile has set 26 world records or world bests in a career
stretching back to the early 1990s. He had a hesitant start to his marathon
career when he launched it in 2002, with a third place in London behind the
world record of Khalid Khannouchi. Three years later, fast wins in
Amsterdam, Berlin and Fukuoka were offset by two more poor runs in London,
ninth ("the worst race of my career") and a failure to finish, which was
later discovered to be due to pollen allergies.
All that was put behind him later that year, 2007, when he returned to
Berlin and ran a world record 2.04.26. He improved that the following year,
again in Berlin, with the current world record of 2.03.59, adding the first
sub-2.04 to an already illustrious barrier breaking career.
In both previous Dubai races, he has been on course for similar sub-2.04
times, only to be thwarted by his own presumption in 2008, and a
thunderstorm earlier his year. Undaunted he is preparing for another tilt
at a third marathon world record in his third Standard Chartered Dubai
"I will do 30-35km maximum road training per day split into morning and
afternoon runs. I will also work in the gym – treadmill, cycling,
exercising – for around three hours minimum once a week. By the time I
start the Dubai Marathon I will weigh 58kg... by the time I finish, I will