London Marathon: Haile Gebrselassie to run as pacemaker
Haile Gebrselassie, the man regarded by many as the greatest distance runner of all time, will be the main pacemaker for the menâ€™s race at the 2014 Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 13 April, race organisers announced on Monday (17).
TheÂ IAAF Gold Label Road RaceÂ will take place just five days short of Gebrselassieâ€™s 41st birthday.
Gebrselassie won two Olympic Games and four IAAF World Championship gold medals over 10,000m, and twice broke the marathon world record, will pace the leading men to 30km at world record speed.
It is the first time the former world record holder has run as a pacemaker in a top-class international race, and the London Marathon race director, Hugh Brasher, welcomed the addition of the legendary Ethiopian.
â€œWe are delighted to announce that Haile Gebrselassie has agreed to run as a pacemaker in this yearâ€™s race,â€ said Brasher.
â€œHaile is an icon of distance running, a man who has broken 27 world records on the track and road during his long and brilliant career, and we canâ€™t think of anyone better to set our elite men up for a crack at the world marathon record.
â€œEveryone knows how difficult it is to break the world record on Londonâ€™s course, especially with such a competitive field, but with Haile pacing and four of the fastest marathon runners in history in the race, thereâ€™s a real chance we will see something special.â€
Among the world-class athletes who are expected to follow Gebrselassieâ€™s lead are: Â Great Britainâ€™s double Olympic and World champion Mo Farah, the current marathon world record holder Wilson Kipsang, the reigning London Marathon champion Tsegaye Kebede, the World and Olympic marathon champion Stephen Kiprotich, and the London Marathon course record holder Emmanuel Mutai. Read more at IAAF.org