Tag Archives: Haile Gebreselassie

Samuel Wanjiru Vs Haile Gebrselassie – Who is Faster Runner

Haile Gebreselassie Vs Samuel Wanjiru. I had hoped this two will race together this year so that we can know who is the king of the full marathon.

Samuel Wanjiru had hoped to take on Haile at 2009 Berlin Marathon but he failed to get invitation to the Berlin Marathon from the organisers. I feel the organisers bowed to the demands of Haile who has previously been quoted saying he prefers to race against the clock rather than go head to head and worry about the athlete behind his neck.

After failing to challenge Haile in Berlin, Wanjiru has entered 2009 Chicago marathon. What is interesting is that Chicago is a flat course just like Berlin. If the weather cooperates, expect Wanjiru to attack Haile record time. Berlin Marathon is on September 20th While Chicago marathon will be on October 11th. After the Berlin marathon Wanjiru will have ample time to reflect and prepare to better Haile’s effort.

A local paper here in Kenya caught up with Samuel Wanjiru on a 35K run along Nyahururu – Gilgil road last monday and the 22 year old athlete played down the Berlin politics and insisted he is 100% focused on 2009 Chicago Marathon.

Interview With Robert Cheruiyot at Gebreselassie Running Clinic

Other elite runners at Haile Gebrselassie running clinics were Paul Tergat and Robert “Mwafrika” Cheruiyot. While Paul and Haile monopolised attention, Robert remained in the background. I even didn’t know he was around until someone called him out.

Robert has been one of my favourite athletes, he has won 4 boston marathon and one Chicago marathon and he was my bet to win the gold at 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Robert cheruiyot "mwafrika"

Why he dropped out of Beijing games

With the media focused on Haile and Paul I had him to myself. My first question was what happened at Beijing. He told me it was a case of overtraining. He really wanted to win the gold at Beijing and so he had pushed himself hard only to suffer a thigh injury close to the games that refused to heal on time.

About that famous fall at 2006 chicago marathon.

It was all bad luck! This was refreshing in an age when people are suing for even minor things.

Attacking the Haile Gebrselassie marathon record

He wants to break Haile Gebreselassie marathon record, hopefully at the world championship in August at Berlin, Germany.

If he breaks it in Berlin it will interesting to see what Samuel Wanjiru and Martin Lel will do at London marathon in September because that is the date they have set to crack Gebrselassie record and bring it back to Kenya.

As we were taking the above photo he pointed to the green grounds inside Nyayo National Stadium and noted that when he started running that ground was all dust.

8 years after he started running he has won 4 boston marathons and made lots of cash from running: Not bad for a man who started out as a barber.

Running Tips From Haile Gebrselassie Running Clinic

The highlight at Haile Gebrselassie running clinic was the question and answer session. After doing seven laps around the stadium, we did cool down activity, stretching and jumping on the spot. At the end Haile was kind enough to give us time to ask him questions.

What is secret to his success

Training hard. This is not a secret but he emphasized the need to train more. The elite runners clock lots of weekly mileage. If you gradually increase your weekly mileage you will see improvement in your performance.

Why African runners dominate long distance running.

Success breeds success. He thought the young people in Africa look up to him and other runners as role models and this has inspired them to choose the sport as means of making a living.

Does he eat any special diet

Nothing special but he loves Teff, an Ethiopian food, a rich grain with lots of mineral.


Me and the King of the road

Will he try to lower his marathon record.

Oh yes! it is the way he responded to that question that impressed me. He was full of confidence. Success starts with a strong conviction : Yes I can!

About his age

“I wish to run for another 10 years but it is not for me to say but my body. I am struggling with age you know but as long as I can, I will continue competing.”

Does he plan to go into politics.

I think that could be my next step. It is not because I want power, it is because of what I think I could do for the people. He talked about a water project he sponsors back home.

My Day At Haile Gebrselassie Coaching Clinic

Haile Gebrsellasie is the best long distance runner in the world, last week he visited Kenya and I had an opportunity to train, run and chat with the King.

Gebrselassie was visiting Kenya as part of a training programme organised by his sponsor’s, security firm  G4S.

The coaching clinic had been hyped by the media and I was not going to let this opportunity slip. On the eve of the event, a sports reader of a leading TV station had reminded those who cared, “If you want to run with Gebrselassie make sure you wake up early because the training run starts at 6.00am”

I arrived outside the venue, Nyayo National Stadium at 6.15 am only to be told the whole thing was invitation only. One guard asked for an official invitation letter, then another guard demanded to know I was from which media house, that is when I decided to be smart and said dailyrunningtips.com!! He did not buy that, and I was told to step aside.

Running Lesson No. 1

Outside the stadium we were five guys, two of us were dressed in running gear while the other three were in T-shirts and jeans. At around 6.30am a lady from the security company came outside and invited me and the other guy in tracks to go in. The rest were politely told to go home. Lesson: Never turn up at a running clinic in jeans!!

Haile Gebrselassie Leading the Runners

Haile Gebrselassie Leading the Runners

Cool down activity

Cool down activity

Gebrselassie sharing his wisdom

Gebrselassie sharing his wisdom

To be great you need a great rival

To be great you need a great rival

Every Runner Got an Autographed T-Shirt

Every Runner Got an Autographed T-Shirt

I have framed it and hanged it my office

I have framed it and hanged it on my office wall

Paul Tergat Training You Tube Video

Paul Tergat has been involved in some famous sprint finishes, my favourite is his victory on November 6, 2005, when he won the New York City Marathon in a thrilling sprint finish through New York’s Central Park, prevailing over defending champion Hendrick Ramaala 2:09:29.90 to 2:09:30.22.

How does Tergat do that?

An answer to that question can be found by watching a you tube video of how the man trains.

Running Quotes By Haile Gebreselassie

Quotes on what pushed Gebreselassie to start running,

“He was not a runner, my father, but he was quick. I always remember it was very difficult to escape from him when he was angry. If he wanted to beat us he would always catch us. Even me, he could always catch me.” Haile Gebreselassie

I used to run to school, 10k every day. And this at altitude, perfect preparation, really.” Haile Gebreselassie

“In the rainy season, sometimes to get to the first lesson we had to run really quick, because we had to cross the river to school and we’d have to go up and down the bank to find a place to cross because there is no bridge.” Haile Gebreselassie

His father never believed in running

“My father thought sport was something fun – he didn’t know it was a way to make money. Then I won a Mercedes at the world championships and I gave it to him. From the moment it arrived my father said: ‘Good, you can support not just yourself but me too” Haile Gebreselassie

The most important things for Haile Gebreselassie

“I will always listen to my coaches. But first I listen to my body. If what they tell me suits my body, great. If my body doesn’t feel good with what they say, then always my body comes first” Haile Gebreselassie

“I’m lucky. The best possible place in the world for training is Addis Ababa, so I am home all the time except when I am racing. I like to be there, near my family, my kids, also the real estate business I run with my wife” Haile Gebreselassie

The future

“At the moment I am a little bit politician, yes. I think that could be my next step. It is not because I want power, it is because of what I think I could do for the people.” Haile Gebreselassie

His thought on his “crooked” hand

“This hand is not very active always, because it was in this hand that I carried my books. My carrying hand was always my strongest. Now I think my other hand has developed more muscles from signing all those autographs.” Haile Gebreselassie

How To Breathe During A Marathon?

How do I breathe during marathon running? That is a question am asked by many of my readers.

My answer is simple, use your mouth and nose. I have never come across a perfect breathing style. I once tried to run with my mouth shut and tried to only breath with my nose but it never worked because it was very uncomfortable.

Breath Like the Pros

I watched Haile Gebreselassie run at 2008 Berlin marathon and I saw his teeth from start to finish, his mouth was always open.

Running Tips : Don’t Let An Injury Put You Down

We know Haile Gebreselassie broke the marathon world record at 2008 Berlin Marathon but few runners know that the Ethiopian long distance runner arrived at the start line with a nagging running injury.

According to a BBC report “His achievement was all the more impressive given that his training had been interrupted by a calf injury.

“Two weeks ago I had a bit of a problem with my calf muscle, but I took a week off,” said Gebreselassie. “It gave me a few worries coming here, but I forgot about it as the race wore on.

When you suffer an injury, you should never over react.

Berlin 2008: His Highness Gebreselassie Breaks the Marathon Record for the Second Time

After breaking the world marathon record for the second time Haile Gebreselassie must surely be singing Britney Spears song “I did it again…”

The ever smiling 35-year-old Ethiopian became the first man to run under two hours, four minutes as he clocked 2:03:59 at 2008 Berlin Marathon.

After the win I quickly checked the records and I noticed it is the sixth time the marathon world record has been broken over the flat Berlin courseIs it possible?

The last time he broke the record he was asked whether it was possible to run the marathon in 2 hours flat, the following was his answer

“Sure, it will happen,” he told reporters on Monday. “But when? Will it be in 20 years? Or 40 years? Nobody knows. The more technology develops, the more athletes will run faster. I believe one day it will happen.”

Lets us see how the time has been brought down from the past to the present.

In 1895, Spiridon Louis of Greece ran in 2hrs 58 minute.It wasnt until 1925 that American Albert Michelsen became the first man to run under 2hrs 30mins, by running in 2hrs 29mins. It took another 40 years for the time to go below 2hrs 10mins when Derek Clayton of Australia ran in 2hrs 9mins in 1967. 40 Yrs later Haile Gebresellasie is the second man to have ran below 2hrs 5mins.

Making an educated guese I think it will takes us another 40 plus years before we see a marathon runner running on 2hrs flat.

5 Things that Could Go Wrong at Beijing Summer Olympics

If you are planning to travel to Beijing Summer Olympics this August I think you need to have a look at a post by Slate website, A disaster guide for the Beijing Summer Olympics. The article is well over the top but I enjoyed it for it’s entertainment value.

This is what I think about some of the issues mentioned in the post.

1. Pollution

In April the head of design at Asics sports visited Beijing to survey the marathon route when he was asked about the Beijing air “I couldn’t see beyond 150 meters” he said. But the report coming from Beijing is that, chemical plants will be shut down, construction projects frozen and half the cars ordered off the road. Even Ethiopian Haile Gebreselassie who withdrew from the marathon due to pollution fears seems to appreciate the progress Beijing is making. He recently requested to be included in the Ethiopian marathon team but his request was politely turned down.

2. Tibet

Olympic games celebrate humanity, Beijing should do the unexpected, invite Dalai Lama to Beijing Summer Olympics.

2. Terrorism

China is good in many things, one of them is dealing with trouble makers.

3. Rain

There are fears of a down pour.  The government plans to stop the rain by firing silver iodide rockets into the sky in the hope of wringing water from the clouds before they soak the opening ceremony. If China has invented a technology to control rain they should share it with Africa to solve the problem of floods.

4. Visa Issue

To travel to China you require to present invitation letters, airline tickets, proof of hotel arrangement.  This is one reason why anyone planning to travel to Beijing Summer games needs to plan early.

5. Food.

Dog meat has been taken off the menu, so no one should worry being served dog meat passing  as beef. But if you want to experience the Chinese culture you can have a cut of dog meat. Chinese have eaten dog meat for centuries and it has never made them grow a tail.

To everyone travelling to Beijing Summer Olympics “See it! Feel it! Be it!”