The inaugural Haile Gebrselassie Marathon was staged this past Sunday in Hawassa, Ethiopia. The previous post on this blog site contained the race report — Shetema and Negede win inaugural Haile Marathon — but race organizer Rich Jayne, my old television producer from “Road Race of the Month”, sent the following pictures capturing the spirit of the day.
The following is a news release written by Richard Nurerkar following the inaugural Haile Gebrselassie Marathon.
Hawassa, Ethiopia — Former Berlin Marathon second placer Gudisa Shentema produced a controlled performance to win the 2013 Haile Gebrselassie Marathon in Hawassa, southern Ethiopia earlier today.
Shetema was the star athlete in the field, coming into the race with a PB of 2:07:34 (Paris, 2007), and led the race for the entire second half. In the end he bided his time until the final 200m to kick clear from Tekalegn Kebelo to win in a time of 2 hours and 15 minutes and 23 seconds.
“It wasn’t the prize that brought me here,” said Shentema at the finish, “but Haile’s name. He is our inspiration. I’ve raced him many times [including in Berlin in 2006 and Dubai in 2008] and I came here for the honour of claiming the title of the first Haile Marathon winner.”
In the women’s race, the first three athletes are all members of the Senbeta training group under Negash Dube. Almaz Negede won in a time of 2:39:50, just over a minute outside her previous best of 2:38:09 from the 2012 Bucharest International Marathon.
Both male and female winners collected 100,000 birr ($5,500) for their victories, the biggest ever prize for a road race in Ethiopia. Continue reading
The late, great Mike Long
This Sunday, October 20th, marks the inaugural running of the Haile Gebrselassie Marathon in Hawassa, Ethiopia. Hosted by the legendary distance runner who set 27 world records during his remarkable career, the Haile Marathon is limited to 1200 participants and 500 guests, and features a series of travel tour options to go along with the marathon itself.
Among the prizes awarded to the male and female champions will be the Mike Long Trophy, named in honor of Haile’s now departed dear friend. The trophies are a fitting testimonial to the legacy of love and friendship that Mike engendered during his career as elite athlete coordinator for San Diego-based Elite Racing from 1990 to his untimely death in July 2007. Continue reading