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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Haile Gebrselassie Retires? 3.25 Miles

3.25 miles run (28:40 - 8:49/mile)
0.50 miles walk (15:00/mile)

total: 3.75 miles
course: home treadmill

Today, I caught most of the New York Marathon. Readers of this blog will know I was keenly interested in Jared "the Subway Guy" Fogle (post) and Meb Keflezighi (post) who ran it. Jared finished in 5:13:28, not bad for a guy who weighed 425 not that long ago. Meb, last year's winner, finished sixth in 2:11:30.

Gebre Gebremariam of Ethiopia won it in 2:08:14, but the guy I really hoped would shine, Haile Gebrselassie, dropped out after 16 miles. Knee injury. He holds the world record with a screaming fast 2:03:59. 

Sadly, Gebrselassie's injury indicated a deeper knee problem, and he announced his retirement. I'm a fan. How couldn't I be? Fast in everything from the 5K to the marathon, he's simply the man. No one ever gets to say, "I'm the man," after a race because any runner worth his salty, sweat-filled face knows that it is Gebrselassie.

So I am bummed. Chicago Bulls great Michael Jordan retired and the NBA mourned, but Jordan had peers. Gebrselassie had none. More humble than Muhammed Ali, and just as quietly charismatic, he is the greatest running has known. He is to long runs what Sebastian Coe was to middle distance, what, in time, Usain Bolt will become.

Hopefully, his injury will not impede regular life, that he can still stay fit, and that he can somehow remain connected with long distance running.

In other news, I had a nice little run. Tight, tired legs. Decided to cut the distance. Tomorrow is up for grabs. Even if I am tired, I want to remain in the habit of running at least five days a week. If I must rest, so be it. The body knows what workout schedules do not.

The Greatest: The Haile Gebrselassie Story

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