Long Distance Legend Haile Gebrselassie to Run 2010 ING New York City Marathon

This marks the marathon world record-holder’s ING New York City Marathon debut and his first major marathon in the United States

Courtesy of the NYRR

New York, June 2, 2010—Long-distance legend, multiple Olympic and World Championships gold medalist, and marathon world record-holder Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia will make his first career appearance at the ING New York City Marathon 2010 on November 7, it was announced today by New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg. 

“It is pretty much a thrill of a lifetime for us to host Haile in the marathon,” said Wittenberg. “We have looked forward to this day for literally years. Haile represents the very best of our sport and more. We are privileged and honored to bring him here. I know he’ll touch New Yorkers, as he has touched fans around the world.”

The announcement was made at Icahn Stadium, where Gebrselassie joined 1,500 schoolchildren for the New York Road Runners Mighty Milers Fun Run as part of the second annual National Running Day celebration.

“It has been a long dream of mine to compete in this outstanding event, and I’m so excited about competing for the first time in my career in the ING New York City Marathon this November, “ said Gebrselassie. “I know my longtime friend Tesfaye Jifar has the course record in New York and with all of us in the field I believe that we might be able to make it a race which can be remembered for a long time as a historical race.”

Widely considered the greatest distance runner of all time, Gebrselassie, 37, set the marathon world record in 2008 at the real,- Berlin Marathon with a time of 2:03:59. Gebrselassie has focused on road racing and the marathon since the 2004 Olympic Games, and he captured his first title in a World Marathon Majors race in Berlin in 2006. In addition to four straight wins in Berlin, he has also claimed marathon victories in Amsterdam (2005), Fukuoka, Japan (2006), and Dubai (2008, 2009, 2010).

The 1996 and 2000 Olympic 10,000-meter gold medalist has won 124 races, only four of which (Atlanta, Boston, Tempe, and New York) have been in the United States. He has now set 25 world records in his illustrious career with a total of 15 senior medals at the Olympic Games (2), World Outdoor Championships (7), World Indoor Championships (4), World Half-Marathon Championships (1), and World Cross Country Championships (1).

It was also announced today that fresh off his course-record victory of 2:09:34 at the Ottawa Marathon on Sunday, Arata Fujiwara of Japan will run in this year’s race. Fuijwara, 28, was twice the runner-up at the Tokyo Marathon (2008 and 2010) and was third at the Fukuoka Marathon in 2008. No Japanese man or woman has won the ING New York City Marathon.

New York Road Runners

New York Road Runners, founded in 1958, is dedicated to promoting the sport of distance running, enhancing health and fitness for all, and responding to community needs. Our road races and other fitness programs draw upwards of 300,000 runners annually, and together with our magazine and website support and promote professional and recreational running. A staff of more than 100, assisted by thousands of volunteers, stages the ING New York City Marathon, as well as a road race nearly every weekend plus many track and cross country events. NYRR’s home base in New York, and its lifelong identification with Central Park, have given many of its events iconic status, attracting the world’s top professional runners. Our youth programs provide running to nearly 100,000 schoolchildren in New York City, around the country, and in South Africa who would otherwise have few or no fitness opportunities. For more information, visit www.nyrr.org.

The ING New York City Marathon

The premier event of New York Road Runners, the ING New York City Marathon is one of the world’s great road races, drawing nearly 105,000 applicants. The race attracts many world-class professional athletes, not only for the more than $600,000 in prize money, but also for the chance to excel in the media capital of the world before two million cheering spectators and a worldwide broadcast reach of 330 million. As any one of the more than 830,000 past participants will attest, crossing the finish line in Central Park is one of the great thrills of a lifetime. For more information visit www.ingnycmarathon.org.


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