New York –Having won world championships or set world records from the metric mile to the marathon, Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia is considered by many the greatest distance runner of this or any generation.

And yet as he prepares for the New York City Marathon on Nov. 7, Gebrselassie’s world mark of 2 hours 3 minutes 59 seconds has fostered debate about competition versus records and has drawn criticism from some elite runners for the orchestrated way his fastest times over 26.2 miles were achieved.

After setting two dozen world records and winning two Olympic gold medals on the track at 10,000 meters, Gebrselassie has lately run marathons in an engineered manner intended to foster more records — using pacesetters on flat courses, avoiding throngs of top challengers, competing less against other runners than against the clock, essentially running time trials instead of conventional races.

Meanwhile, he has struggled on more challenging courses, against top competition, in races involving surging and other tactical decisions that play as integral a role as sheer speed. Read Full Story