Haile Gebrselassie said he is not afraid to experience the loneliness of the long distance runner as he prepares to toe the line in the 30th edition of the ING Amsterdam marathon on Sunday. In his second try over the 42.195 km distance, the ever-smiling Ethiopian is very confident.
"I know that I have trained very well and that I am in very good shape," Gebrselassie said at a pre-race press conference today.
The multiple World champion and World record holder is very confident, particularly after his World best over 10 miles on 4 September in Tilburg, where he clocked 44:24. The race in the southern Dutch city was his last preparation for Amsterdam. Officially Haile, as is bib will read, is aiming to better his personal best of 2:06:35 from the Flora London Marathon three years ago. The organizers of the second oldest marathon of The Netherlands are, of course, hoping Gebrselassie will do the same as he did in Tilburg: run a world best.
At the press conference, Gebrselassie himself did not speak about bettering Paul Tergat's World record of 2:04:55, set two years ago in Berlin. A personal best will however make the Ethiopian the fastest of the year. Last Sunday, LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon winner Felix Limo of Kenya produced the year's fastest performances, a 2:07:02. The course record in the Dutch capital is 2:06:23, set last year by Kenyan Robert Cheboror.