Gebrselassie Hopes for Luck in Dubai Marathon

Haile Gebrselassie said he didn’t mind to pay $1m should this will ensure that he’s going to break his Marathon record in the 13th running of the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon.



“Nobody can safely predict what will happen during the race. The weather is perfect, the course is perfect and I could be in a perfect form, but this does not mean that the result would also be perfect. We must, other things being equal, consider the human element as the most decisive factor in the whole affair. The pace and speed may change at any time in the last half hour of the distance for reasons beyond our control,” the smiling champion told newsmen at the Westin Hotel on Wednesday.

“I didn’t mean to say I’m less determined to set a new world record. In 2007, the weather was warm in the last part of the race, and last year it was raining heavily.

“I have been training very well and hopefully I will have better luck in my third attempt on Friday,” he said.

When asked about his plans after breaking his own record and winning the $1 million bonus, Gebrselassie said it’s premature to talk about it now. Let’s see what will happen on the ground and we will find out,” he said with a big smile. However, the world’s greatest distance runner noted that he’s honoured to be associated with the beautiful city of Dubai.

“I like every place in this charming city. The people are friendly and the hotels, streets public parks, metro and all facilities are first class. Even the tallest building in the world Burj Khalifa is the world’s best,” he said.

“I hope everybody will get running shoes ready to join me at the start of the world premier road on Friday,” he said.

The event is held under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The race is also staged under the aegis of the Dubai Sports Council.

The event offers a total prize purse of $1 million with the added incentive to the elites of a bonus cheque of $1 million for a new world record, courtesy of Dubai Holding. First prize in both the men and women’s marathon is $250,000. Meanwhile, more than 12.000 runners are expected to line up in three races when the 2010 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon gets underway on Friday early morning.

Defending men’s champion and world record holder Gebrselassie and last year’s women winner Bezenush Bekele will lead the way in the main events. The race has attracted a record field of participants, many of whom have flown in from all corners of the globe to compete alongside the likes of Gebrselassie, Bekele, Sammy Korior and Askale in the 42.195km premier race on the card. The marathon itself will go under the starter’s gun at 6.30am with the 10km race scheduled to take to the streets 15 minutes later at 6.45am. The popular 3km Fun Run will get underway at 11am.

hisham@khaleejtimes.com


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