Haile Gebrselassie to race in New York Half-Marathon

NEW YORK —(January 20, 2010) –  Ethiopia’s Haile Gebrselassie, the marathon world record-holder and a two-time Olympic 10,000-meter champion, will race in the New York Half-Marathon in March, race organizers announced Wednesday.

The 36-year-old long distance legend last competed in a US event in 2007, when he won the New York Half-Marathon in a race-record 59 minutes, 24 seconds. Gebrselassie will seek a 20,000-dollar top prize in the 100,000-dollar event.

“I?m very excited about going back to New York,” Gebrselassie said. “I got such a warm welcome when I ran the Half-Marathon in 2007. I?m sure it will be a wonderful event again and I?m looking forward to it.”

Gebrselassie, who set the world marathon record of 2:03:59 at the 2008 Berlin Marathon, will try to win his third consecutive Dubai Marathon title on Friday.

He has also won four times at Berlin as well as in Amsterdam in 2005 and Fukuoka, Japan, in 2006.

Over the 13.1-mile half-marathon distance, Gebrselassie has won nine of 10 career starts.