This Sunday, Haile Gebrselassie will line up for the Berlin Marathon with one thought on his mind: Dropping his current world record of 2:04:26 even further!
In their excellent Science of Sport blog Jonathan and Ross write about the event:
You’ll recall that it was earlier this year that Geb announced that he would not run the Olympic Marathon because he did not want to “damage” his long term-health in the polluted Chinese capital – many were skeptical then, suggesting that the big pay-day of a Berlin World record was the real reason he didn’t run. And now, 6 months later, that potential pay-day has arrived.
A big pay-day indeed if he can pull it off! So Geb apparently missed the Olympic marathon for this, but what are his chances of pulling in a world’s best time? and could he even push under 2:04?
Gebrselassie set the current world record in Berlin and will go down as the only man in history to run world-beating marathons in two consecutive years if he can pull it off again and providing no one else runs faster. Another record within reach is combined total for two marathons in one year. The best is 4:11:34 when Khalid Khannouchi ran 2:05:38 (London) and 2:05:56 (Chicago) in 2002. Gebreselassie would need 2:06:40 or better to beat this.
His record was challenged at London last April when Martin Lel and Samuel Wanjiru covered 30 kilometers 27 seconds faster than Gebrselassie’s Berlin split, but the pace slowed down, Lel eventually winning in 2:05:15.
Since Berlin, Gebrselassie has run a marathon in Dubai, but took the pace out too hard clocking 61:27 at the half way mark, with led to the pace “blowing out” to 2:04:53.
So is another world record on the cards? With Gebrselassie you could never discount him! The Scientists of Sport predict he will most likely push too hard again and run 2:04:40. Of course perfect weather is always essential for any world beating performance over this distance.
Browse to the full article that gives a full analysis and prediction of Gebrselassie’s record attempt for this year’s 2008 Berlin marathon.