Haile Gebrselassie, photo by PhotoRun.net
GLASGOW (GBR): Ethiopian distance running legend Haile Gebrselassie, will defend his Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run title in Glasgow on October 5, inform organisers. The 41 year old won last year in a Scottish all-comers record of 61:09. “I have fantastic memories of my first race in Scotland and I am delighted to be coming back to race in the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run for a second time,” said Gebrselassie. Asked about his form, he said, “I had a problem earlier this year – I had a small surgery to my knee – but that is gone now. My training is going well. When you are an older athlete you have to be serious in your training and in how you take your rest and how you are preparing, but I am still doing well at 41.”
(Editor’s note: Haile Gebrselassie is one of the largest draws in the sport. Universally loved, the Emperor could be even bigger as he focuses on half marathon and shorter distances over the next few years. Part of it is his accessibility, and part of it is the history of his great performances.
One of my favorite memories with Haile dates back to 2006. The late Mike Long, elite manager for RNR series, arranged for me to follow Haile for a day before his WR runs over 25k on the roads. I interviewed Haile for two hours afterwards. Still, next to my interviews with the late Emil Zatopek in the early 1990s, my favorite interview of all times.
Haile is thoughtful, and sees his career as a key part of his life, but is realistic. Watch for the Emperor to seriously consider leadership roles in his country.)