Friday, September 26, 2008
'Geb' Goes for 'Welt' Record at Berlin
Can you say Haile Gebrselassie? Can you spell it? I've always had trouble with the latter. Sunday (Sept. 28) is Haile's highly anticipated return to the Real Berlin Marathon, where he set the current world record of 2:04:26 a year ago. Gebrselassie says he has trained well and is up to the worldly task. He'll have pacers capable of going 30K (out of 42,195) at or near the torrid pace that only the Ethiopian great can run. He also ran a 2:04:53 in Dubai, so he's no fluke. Saying he was worried about Beijing's pollution, he skipped the Olympic marathon and should be ready to go. It's been said by some Berliners that Berlin's course is faster than Chicago's. Things get cooking around 1:30 a.m. Chicago time for you die-hards. On the women's side, watch Askale Tafa of Ethiopia and German favorite Irina Mikitenko. OK, here I go out on the limb. I'll take "Geb" in 2:04:45 (sorry, no record) and Tafa in 2:22:15. Next up after Berlin on the World Marathon Majors schedule is our own Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Oct. 12. If anything big happens in the German capital, you know Chicago executive race director Carey Pinkowski will find an answer.