All Haile Gebrselassie


Gebrselassie sets world marathon record in Berlin 2:04:26 !

Haile Gebrselassie set a new world record in winning the real,_Berlin Marathon this morning, in 2.04.26. The 34 year old Ethiopian took 29 seconds off the previous record of 2.04.55, set by Paul Tergat of Kenya in the same event in 2003. It is the Ethiopian’s 24th world record.

The critics said he was too bouncy for the marathon. That idea is now dead and buried. Amazing feat after such a long track career.

Geb’s career is so interlocked with Tergat it is quite unbelievable. At least Paul held the world record for a while:)

And now Gebrselassie surely has staked a claim, yet again, to being history’s greatest distance runner, certainly one with the greatest range. He won a gold medal at 1500m in the 1999 world indoor championships and set a world record at the marathon and distances of 5000, 10,000, 20km half-marathon and 1 hour in-between.

BERLIN, Sept 30, 2007 - Double Olympic champion Haile Gebrselassie broke the world marathon record with an official time of 2hr 4min 26sec to win the 34th Berlin Marathon on Sunday.
The 34-year-old Ethiopian, who won 10,000m gold at Atlanta in 1996 and at Sydney four years later, bettered Kenyan Paul Tergat’s record of 2hr 4min and 55sec set in 2003 also in the German capital.
Don't ask me how proud I am, words can't describe,'' said the breathless new world record holder who picks up the 50,000 winner's cheque on top of his 250,000 fee for competing. It’s something really special.’’
I just want to thank all the German people who helped me on the course, their support made a huge difference. There were perfect conditions out there, it was a bit windy, but otherwise perfect. I had said I wanted to do 2hours 3minutes, but that didn’t happen.’’
This was Gebreselassie’s second consecutive win in Berlin since he quit track racing after the 2004 Olympics to concentrate on the marathon.
But there was no talk of retirement for the Ethiopian with the World Athletics Championships set to take place at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium in 2009 and next year’s Olympic Games in Beijing.
``This isn’t the end, I want to come here in 2009 and run the World Championships and there is Beijing next year, so it’s not over yet, no way.’’

I remember listening to Craig Mottram during the 2000 Olympics, he said Gebrselassie took 45 minutes to break into a jog because his achilles was in such bad shape. This is what makes this feat so incredible, setting such a record after overcoming achilles problems at an advanced age.


Nineteen years ago, a skinny 15 year old did what millions of country kids over the centuries have done. Haile Gebrselassie went up to the big city, to seek his fortune. He was only in Addis Ababa a couple of days, just long enough to run a marathon and struggle, half crippled from the effort, back home to his village 175 kilometres away. He would start running again a week later, when the pain subsided, and the dreams of success returned. But even he could not have dreamed that what began with a 2hrs 48min marathon round the back streets of Addis, admittedly at altitude, would presage a career which, thus far has netted him 24 world records, the latest coming in Berlin on Sunday morning, at that same marathon distance, but his time some 44 minutes faster, in 2.04.26.

“It was the only race I could find,” he said, recalling his first tribulation an hour after his latest triumph. “I ran in street shoes, with plastic soles, and only finished because there were no cars, there was no other way to get back to the start. The next day, my brother put me on a bus back to Arsela, but the bus stopped several kilometres from my village, and I had to walk. I don’t know how I did it”. Nearly 20 years on, he still grimaces at the memory, but we all know how he did it. With the same resolve that has resulted in two Olympic golds, four world titles, indoors and out, innumerable victories on road and track. Oh yes, and the little matter of those 24 world records

If we were quibbling, we’d say that he should win the Olympic marathon next year, in order to completely dismiss any doubts that he is the greatest distance runner of all time. But a man who can take a world title at 1500 metres (indoors), as he did in 1999, 18 months prior to a second Olympic 10,000 metres title that he should never have won (of which more later), coupled with this latest exploit on the streets of Berlin should go a long way to bolstering his considerable claim to be ‘The Greatest’.

He is certainly the greatest of this modern era, and there are really only two men who can compete for that ulimate accolade. Emil Zatopek of the then Czechoslovakia won four Olympic golds, three at the same Olympics in Helsinki 1952, with an unrepeatable treble (even for a Gebrselassie) of the 5000, 10,000 metres and the marathon, the last one on his debut, no less. It was Zatopek who coined the immortal summation of the marathon, “If you want to run, try a hundred metres, if you want to experience another life, try a marathon”.

Asked about world records, Geb himself had said something similar prior to this Berlin race. “In the 5000 and 10,000 metres, you are running against the clock and the opposition. In the marathon, you are running against the distance itself”. It’s no surprise that men like Zata and Geb should come up with stuff like that. You have time to ruminate, if not in the marathon itself, then in all the miles and kilometres that you do in preparation. Because, no matter how good your back-up, or how many pals you can persuade to accompany you on those treks, inevitably you do most of it by yourself.

It so happens that Geb and Zata share very similar characters, or rather shared, since Zatopek died half a dozen years ago. Like Geb, he was open, friendly, always happy to give succour and advice, in Zata’s case, often in the middle of a race. The only other runner who could put them both in the shade was Paavo Nurmi. The Flying Finn, winner of nine Olympic golds, yes, NINE, was by all acounts a remote, sullen, introspective character. Perhaps that’s why he is reported to have said at the end of his life that he felt that it had all been a waste. Maybe, like those first astronauts after going to the moon, when you’ve won nine Olympic golds, there’s nowhere else to go. Perhaps we should be happy we’re not overachievers, huh? Geb seems very happy to be an overachiever, that’s one of the pleasures of sharing his company as well as admiring his running. A smile is rarely far from his face, and you can believe both him and that equally winning personality, Paul Tergat, the Kenyan from whom he wrested the marathon record in Berlin. On the same course in 2003, Tergat had run 2.04.55. Immediately after watching Geb demolish it on television, Tergat rang his friend from Kenya to congratulate him. “Sorry Paul,” said Geb, and he meant it. They both mean it when they call each other ‘friend’. It says much for Tergat. He is in the same situation as Bing Crosby, who when asked about Frank Sinatra, replied, “He’s the greatest crooner of his era. Pity it had to be my era as well”.

Tergat did manage something that Geb never did, in fact he managed to win the World Cross five times, while Geb never won it once. But Tergat lost to Geb in two of the greatest Olympic 10,000 metres races that this writer has ever witnessed, in Atlanta 1996, and Sydney 2000. It was the latter race which defined Gebrselassie for me. He had been badly injured some months before, had only effected a comeback shortly prior to the Olympics, and would have been in no shape to cope with Tergat, had the Kenyan thought to reproduce the tactics of Atlanta, where he had run the second 5000 metres over half a minute faster than the first half, in an attempt to run the legs off Geb. But the Ethiopian was in prime form in Atlanta, and swept past to victory. That must have laid the doubts in Tergat’s mind. Never a fast finisher, he worked and worked his speed in 2000, such that he felt he could outsprint the Ethiopian in Sydney. Tergat ran steadily, and shot away with 300 metres to run. Geb clawed it back gradually, and inched past to victory. Again! But he admitted again after his Berlin Marathon victory, “Paul would have won easily if had used the tactics of Atlanta”. “He won with his head that time,” added friend and business associate, former British marathoner, Richard Nerurkar, who travelled from Addis to support his pal.

Speaking of pals, complimentary to a fault, Geb repeatedly thanked the crowds in Berlin for helping him to victory. His estimates of the value of their support ranged from, “Fifty per cent,” right after the race, to, “60 to 70 per cent,” at his press conference, an hour later. But, whatever help you get from your friends, when you’re a marathon runner, and a marathon winner, and now, a marathon world record holder, deep down you know. It’s all your own work. And no one deserves it more.


NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 30, 2007 (AFP) - Former world marathon record holder Paul Tergat of Kenya said his great track rival Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie deserved to break his four-year-old mark.
The 34-year-old Gebrselassie bettered Tergat’s 2003 record of 2hr 4min and 55sec when he won the 34th Berlin Marathon on Sunday in 2hr 4min and 26sec.
There is no better person to break the record than Gebreselassie,'' said Tergat, who congratulated the Ethiopian after watching the race live on television. He has run 2:06, then 2:05 and now 2:04 and has been determined all along.’’
He has been hunting for it for a long time and had been successful. Now that he has done it I salute him.'' Tergat said it will take a long time for another athlete to break the record, but challenged his fellow Kenyan athletes -- who played a big role in pacing Gebrselassie to set the new mark -- to wrestle back the world records they have lost to Ethiopians in the last few years. If you look at the records we have lost including the 5000m and 10000m – have all gone to Ethiopians,’’ Tergat said. ``It will take a great effort for us to win them back. It is only possible through team work because running as individuals is tricky.’’
The 38-year-old former world record holder said he would be running the Fukuoka marathon in December to prepare himself for next year. It will be his first ever marathon race in Asia.

Great Post, my most potent memory of Geb was during the 10,000 in Athens. He entered the race not in the best form. As the race panned out it looked like he would drop out, to somewhere back in the pack. Running with overt discomfort over the last few laps he managed to get 4th. After the race finished he was asked "you looked to be struggling with injury did you think about not finishing " ?Geb replied, “my achilles was very bad but I cant drop out it would be very bad for our younger generation of runners”. This moment exemplified the will & courage that has enabled Geb to be as great as he is.

totally insane time. Whats that average per 5k? Just plain silly…
Well done

42.195k so just under 15 mins per 5k :eek:

How about per km? Someone at work figured 2min 56sec per km. Don’t know if that’s correct but I once ran just under 3mins for 1 km and it was on a mostly down sloping road and it felt like I was flying, but it nearly killed me (being an old long jumper type).

Damn, Geb’s done it 42 times in succession. :eek:

For all curious:

1:10.8 per 400
2:21.6 per 800
2:56.9 per 1000
4:25.4 per 1500
4:44.8 per mile
8:50.8 per 3000
9:29.5 per 2 miles
14:14.3 per 3 miles
14:44.7 per 5000
23:43.8 per 5 miles
29:29.4 per 10000
47:27.6 per 10 miles


Haile - 2:04:26 World Record in Berlin! - UPDATED
Sunday 30 September 2007

Berlin, Germany - Haile Gebrselassie finally fulfilled the first one of his two big marathon dreams: The 34 year-old Ethiopian broke the World record at the real,- Berlin-Marathon, clocking 2:04:26. It was Paul Tergat (Kenya) who had run 2:04:55 in 2003 in Berlin.

“It was something very special today, because this is the marathon world record!” said Gebrselassie after improving the World Marathon record by 29 seconds. “That is something different in comparison to the 5,000 or 10,000m, because the Marathon is the king of the distance races.” The two-time Olympic 10,000m champion has now broken 24 World records or world bests.

Gebrselassie produced the absolute highlight at Germany’s biggest and most spectacular Marathon for which 40,215 runners from 115 nations had entered. About one million spectators cheered on the Ethiopian.

“The spectators gave me more support than last year. I have to say thank you Germany! Today the weather was perfect, it was not as windy as last year,” said Gebrselassie, who will target his next big Marathon goal next year, when he will run the Olympic race in Beijing.

Not only Gebrselassie but Gete Wami also defended her title in Berlin in ideal weather conditions. The Ethiopian clocked 2:23:17 to complete yet another double win in Berlin after 2006. But the real surprise came in second place, which featured a great debut by Irina Mikitenko. She clocked 2:24:51, which is the best ever Marathon debut by a German woman. She is now the third fastest on the German all-time list behind Uta Pippig (2:21:45) and Katrin Dörre-Heinig (2:24:35).

Led by pacemakers, Gebrselassie was on course for the World record throughout. He went through halfway in 62:29. His rivals couldn’t match that kind of pace from the very start leaving Gebrselassie in a race of his own through the streets of Berlin. Up to the 30 kilometre point two of the original five pacemakers were able to stay with him. But then both Eshetu Wondimu (Ethiopia) and Rodgers Rop (Kenya), the latter winner of this year’s Hamburg marathon in 2:07:32 and a former champion in New York and Boston, dropped out.

Last year Gebrselassie also had to run the last 12 kilometres on his own – and finished 61 seconds outside the World record (2:05:56). It didn’t happen this time. He was much more consistent in his running over the 42.195km, never dropping outside three minutes per kilometre. And without pacemakers Gebrselassie ran the last 12 kilometres of the race considerably faster than before. The individual kilometre splits for this section of the race were appreciably under 3:00 minutes. Kilometre 35 was his fastest of the entire race in 2:50.

Shortly after Gebrselassie crossed the finish line, race director Mark Milde’s phone rang. Tergat was on the line, and he wanted to congratulate Haile. “Paul is a good friend and I apologized to him for taking his World record,” Gebrselassie explained. His total winnings from Berlin were 130,000 Euros. “But I don’t run for money. If I did, I could race somewhere every week,” said Gebrselassie.

The Kenyan Abel Kirui was second in an outstanding personal best of 2:06:51. Third place went to his compatriot Salim Kipsang in 2:07:29. The best German finisher was Falk Cierpinski (SG Spergau) who crossed the line in 23rd place. The son of the double Olympic champion Waldemar Cierpinski ran a personal best in 2:19:06.

Wami aggressive from the start as well

In the women’s race Gete Wami, like Gebrselassie, went clear of her rivals from the start. The Ethiopian, who ran a national record of 2:21:34 a year ago in Berlin but lost it in the meantime to Berhane Adere, also had an escort of pacemakers. After reaching halfway in 70:25 she did just enough to be assured the victory. Five weeks from now Wami will be on the start line for the marathon in New York.

Wami is shooting for the jackpot in the World Marathon Majors series for 2006-07. Following her win in Berlin she has taken the lead from Latvian Jelena Prokupcuka. If she finishes ahead of the Latvian in New York, she’ll win 500,000 dollars.

“I was very confident before the race that I was in good shape. I’ll take it easy for a week and then start training for New York – I think I’ve a real chance of winning the WMM jackpot,” Wami said.

The outcome of the race for second place was more dramatic. Well behind Wami after the second half were Helena Kiprop of Kenya and the Japanese Naoko Sakamoto (both at 72:31). A further 26 seconds behind was a trio including Mikitenko. On her Marathon debut she ran an outstanding second half to move up to second. She ran the second half in 1:11:54, covering the second half faster than the first on her debut attempt at the distance. That shows she could run faster still in the Marathon, an event for which she now has an Olympic qualifying time.

Jörg Wenig with assistance from Andy Edwards for the IAAF

2;50 was his fastest!!! geeeez.
29;29 at 10k…
14;44 at 5k, The worlds just ran was almost at that same pace for the 1st 4k in the 5k event… :eek: