CONTACT: Lynne Scharf
Moray Mountain Sports
Mystery Marathon Revealed: Haile Gebrselassie Marathon To Be Run October, 2013
Moray Mountain Sports of San Diego announced the creation of the first annual Haile Gebrselassie Marathon. For the past several months, Moray Mountain has been promoting its Mystery Marathon, but the race was just recently revealed as the Haile Gebrselassie Marathon to be held on October 20, 2013 in Hawassa, Ethiopia.
It will be a marathon of many firsts. Most importantly, it will be the first peoples’ marathon to ever be held in Ethiopia–the birthplace of some of the greatest marathoners in the world. The marathon and accompanying half marathon will have an elite portion of the race, but it will also be open to Ethiopians and Westerners who wish to experience the charm and beauty of this East African nation.
This race will also be the first to bear the name of the greatest distance runner in world history: Haile Gebrselassie. The Ethiopian legend, who has set 27 world track and road records and won four World Championship titles and two Olympic gold medals in the 10,000 meters, was instrumental in bringing this event to his homeland. Gebrselassie, who owns a hotel in Hawassa, will be a full participant in the event.
Yet another first: The men’s and women’s winner of the marathon will each receive 12 ounces of gold (current value: $1800 an ounce). In addition, 12 other participants in the marathon, half marathon or accompanying 5-K will be chosen at random to each receive one ounce of gold.
The Haile Gebrselassie Marathon and half marathon, as well as the 5K, will be held in Hawassa, a city of approximately 250,000 in south central Ethiopia, about 220 miles south of the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa. But unlike the capital city which sits at more than 7,500 feet above sea level, Hawassa is at a much more moderate elevation of 5,600 feet and has a dry, pleasant climate. Hawassa is on the shores of Lake Awasa in the great Rift Valley, ancestral home of the world’s greatest distance runners.
The races will be held entirely within the city limits of Hawassa and be contested on a flat, accurate, two-loop course (one loop for the half marathoners). Other than a short stretch on a hard-packed dirt road, the race will be on pavement with plenty of aid stations with purified water and sports drink as well as native musicians along the course. The start/finish of the races are within easy walking distance of the race hotels.
There will be plenty of pre and post race festivities, including a pre-race dinner hosted by Bart Yasso of Runner’s World as well as an appearance by the affable Gebrselassie who will welcome all the runners to his native country.
The name of the organizing company–Moray Mountain Sports–might be unfamiliar, but the principle behind it is Tim Murphy. Murphy, who started Elite Racing of San Diego, is the man responsible for such now-commonplace innovations as blending kids and elite races, music and bands along race courses and multi-loop races. Murphy created such prestigious events as the Carlsbad 5000 and the Arturo Barrios 10K as well as the Rock ‘n’ Roll series of marathons and half marathons.
Murphy sold the Rock ‘n’ Roll franchise five years ago to Competitor, Inc. Since the sale, he has been inactive in the running business but itching to get back. “I always knew I’d put on another marathon,” says Murphy, “but I never wanted to put on just another me-too race. That’s why a marathon in Ethiopia is so intriguing. Runners today have done all the big races and are looking for something different, something distinctive, something to add to their bucket list. That’s what the Haile Gebrselassie Marathon is all about. It will be a unique event in an area of the world few Westerners have ever run.”
Judging by the more than 25,000 inquiries received about the Mystery Marathon, high demand is expected for the Haile Gebrselassie Marathon but entries will be limited to the first 1200 runners.
For more information, go towww.hailemarathon.com orwww.facebook.com/hailemarathon. Questions can be directed firstname.lastname@example.org.