The picture above (courtesy of adidas promotions), is a promotional picture from 2004, that was used to show Haile Gebrselassie, one of the most storied distance runners of all times, and tying him to the great symbolism and history of Athens, Greece.
In a recent blog ( http://www.globerunner.org/blog/?p=97)by Pat Butcher, our friend at www.globerunner.org, Haile Gebrselassie is running for the record books, and no longer for the championship medals and rings. His plans include a half marathon attempt March 14 in The Hague, an hour and 20,000 meter attempt on June 1, 2009, and while he will make no promises now, he is looking for another world marathon record attempt.
Gebrselassie made it clear that he will probably never retire, but was obviously fascinated and interested in taking on Sammy Wanjiru, the world record holder at the half marathon (58:33), and the 2008 Beijing Olympic gold medalist. Wanjiru has announced that he will be bypassing the Berlin World Champs for a world record attempt at real,-Berlin in September 2009.
According to Gebrselassie, he will focus on fast times and no more medals. He has done that. He will also focus on Sammy Wanjiru, who at 21, decimated the Olympic fields in the heat and humidity of the Beijing Olympics.
Gebrselassie, he of the twenty-six world records, from 1,500 meters to the marathon, he of the two Olympic 10,000 meter golds, three World Championship golds at 10,000 meters, is a worthy adversary. His recent Dubai marathon, run in 2:05.29, had him running in gale force winds the last 15 kilometers! The final test for the little Emperor was dropping temperatures, which hit 7c to 8c at the finish!
It is this blogger's belief that lining up next to Mr. Wanijiru will be Mr. Gebrselassie, so stay tuned! That could make for some fantastic racing!