Haile Gebrselassie, the defending champion, will return to the 34th real,- BERLIN-MARATHON. The signing of the exceptional Ethiopian runner was announced by Race Director Mark Milde. Last year Haile Gebrselassie won the real,- BERLIN-MARATHON in the fastest time of the year of 2:05:56 hours. The most spectacular German road race will be held on September 30th with up to 40,000 runners. The race belongs to the World Marathon Majors (WMM).
‚ÄùWith Haile Gebrselassie we have signed one of the best runners of all times. We are delighted that after his impressive performance last year Haile has again chosen the real,- BERLIN-MARATHON for his fall marathon race,‚Äú said Mark Milde.
Haile Gebrselassie dominated long distance track running for years. He was 10,000 m Olympic Champion twice (1996 and 2000). At World Championships he won a gold medal at 10,000 m four times in a row (1993, 1995, 1997, 1999).
The 34 year-old set 21 world records in his career so far. At the Olympic Games in Athens 2004 he had to be content with fifth place in the 10,000 m final due to an injury. After that Haile Gebrselassie decided to concentrate on road running, especially on the marathon. The highlight of his marathon career so far was his victory in Berlin in 2006. Clocking 2:05:56 hours he became the fifth fastest marathon runner of all times. He missed the world record of his big rival Paul Tergat by just 61 seconds. The Kenyan had triumphed with 2:04:55 in Berlin in 2003.
After Haile Gebrselassie had to give up in the Flora London Marathon in April due to breathing problems, he can now collect the first WMM points for the 2007-2008 series in Berlin. The best marathoners of the world are competing at the World Marathon Majors, collecting points over a two years‚Äô cycle. The winners‚Äô prize purse is one million Dollar, which will be split between the best male and female runners.
The real,- BERLIN-MARATHON has 35,000 registrations so far. That means that only 5.000 bibs are left. As last year the limit is set at 40,000 runners. ¬†
Information and online registration at: www.berlin-marathon.com