Ethiopian world-record holder Haile Gebrselassie will make his first appearance in the New York City Marathon in November, the New York Road Runners Club said Wednesday.

“It is pretty much a thrill of a lifetime for us to host Haile in the marathon,” Road Runners president Mary Wittenberg said in a statement. “We have looked forward to this day for literally years.”

This year’s marathon will be on November 7.

The 37-year-old Gebrselassie set the marathon world record of 2:03.59 in 2008 at Berlin.

“I know my long-time friend Tesfaye Jifar has the course record in New York and with all of us in the field I believe that we might be able to make it a race which can be remembered for a long time as a historical race,” Gebrselassie said.