Haile Gebrselassie, the four-times World and twice Olympic 10,000m
champion, clinched a commanding win at the Mitja Marató de Granollers
Half-Marathon on Sunday (5 February). ‘The Emperor,’ in his first
outing since his World Record 58:55* over the Half-Marathon distance
three weeks earlier, clocked 1:00:17 for a commanding win.
Competing on an ideal day for distance running with temperatures in
the 5º C (start) and 12º C (finish) range, the 32-year-old Ethiopian
legend held off the challenge produced by Kenya’s Francis Kiprop, who
finished second in 1:00:50.
After a relatively slow start it was Kiprop, whose previous best was
1:01:32, who controlled the pace, with only Gebrselassie in pursuit.
The crucial moment came in the 14th kilometre when the Ethiopian upped
the tempo and sped away. So frantic was his pace that he clocked a 2:35
split in the downhill 18th kilometre. After an initial 30:15 half,
Gebrselassie closed with a 29:52 over the final 10.55Km. Gebrselassie
sliced 1:16 from his 1:01:33 winning performance here last year.