Posted by: Joe English | January 16, 2009

Racing: Gebrselassie misses marathon world record in Dubai

Haile GebrselassieDUBAI — Haile Gebreselassie missed setting another new marathon world record in his attempt at the Dubai Marathon this morning. His time of 2:05:29, which is the fastest so far in this young new year, was 90 seconds off of his world mark of 2:03:59.

Gebrselassie had planned to make another assault on the marathon world record, but steady rain throughout the race put a damper on his plans.

If Gebrselassie had broken the world record, he would have had a million dollar payout from the Dubai race organizers. As winner of the race, he still takes home $250,000.

“Everybody was expecting me to break the world record here, but I am very pleased with the time I ran today,” the 35-year-old Gebrselassie told the Associated Press. “This is my best time in wet weather. It could have been much worse, but I’m really happy with the time.”

Gebrselassie was on pace to challenge his world mark of 2:03:59 set last year in Berlin. But he struggled against the rain in the second half of the race, which began at dawn along Dubai’s Gulf coastline.

“I saw the clouds ahead and it looked like it was going to be difficult,” he said. “Sometimes it’s not just about defeating time, sometimes you defeat yourself. When I saw the rain coming, I defeated myself. But it (a new record) will happen. I will come back next year.”

Gebrselassie told the AP that his next goal is to attempt to reclaim the half-marathon record in The Hague, Netherlands, in March.

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