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Haile Gebrselassie is seeking to break the Masters (40-plus) World Marathon record this spring. He has committed to compete in the 2014 Haspa Hamburg Marathon, which will take place on Sunday, May 4th in Hamburg, Germany. The record currently stands at 2:08:46, which was set by Mexican Andres Espinosa in the 2003 running of the Berlin Marathon.

Gebrselassie’s best marathon performance was a world record time of 2:03:59 (Berlin 2008), but has since been surpassed.  Two Kenyans have improved on the record, Patrick Makau with his 2:03:38 and Wilson Kipsang with his 2:03:23. Both were set in Berlin at the 2011 and 2013 events, respectively.

But will he prove to be the greatest 40-plus age group marathon runner? Gebrselassie is now 41-years-of-age. In September of 2013, he ran the Great North Run Half Marathon in 61:41. He finished third behind Mo Farah of Great Britain and Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia. The finish times for all three were a little slow in comparison to what they should run for the distance as the three finished in: 61:41, 60:10 and 60:09, respectively. According to the IAAF scoring tables, for Gebrselassie that half-marathon projects to a 2:12 marathon. It is safe to assume that he will run faster than 2:12, providing weather cooperates. By finishing one-and-a-half minutes behind Farah and Bekele, Gebrselassie should finish within five minutes of the two during a marathon. As they are closer (age-wise) to their lifetime bests in the shorter distances, they should finish near world record time or within two minutes of it. In this case, Gebreselassie, should finish well below 2:10 and if everything goes well, he should break the world masters marathon record in Hamburg.

See article projecting Farah’s and Bekele’s debut marathons here.

Personal bests:

1500m – 3:33.73
Mile – 3:52.39
5,000m – 12:39.36
10,000m – 26:22
Half Marathon – 58:55
Marathon – 2:03:59 – World 35-plus record

Masters Half Marathon – 61:41 – World 40-plus record.

Interview with Gebreselassie

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