Posts Tagged ‘Haile Gebrselassie’

Mourning Sammy Wanjiru, “The Greatest” Marathoner?

Wanjiru breaking the half-marathon world record at The Hague in 2007. Photo by FaceMePLS.

Like everyone else, I was shocked to hear that Sammy Wanjiru of Kenya, the reigning Olympic marathon and World Marathon Majors champion, died Sunday in a fall from a second-floor balcony in his home in Nyahururu, Kenya.

To call it sad is an understatement. He was the bright, shining young star of the sport. That his personal life often fell short of the dazzling man he was on the pavement, and of the hero-worship he inspired, is also sad. Reports of his death have involved more talk of his personal woes than of his running. That his life ended tragically, under questionable and preventable circumstances, and in a manner that only highlighted his humanity is, quite simply, heartbreaking.

But for those of us that did not know him, except as that brazen young kid who not only talked the talk, but walked the walk of a champion, I’d like to remember his legacy as a runner. Read the rest of this entry →


May 2011

Sammy Wanjiru, World Marathons Majors and Olympic Marathon Champion, Dead at 24

Sammy Wanjiru runs to gold at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Photo by 正在休渔期.

The reigning Olympic marathon and World Marathon Majors champion, Sammy Wanjiru, died Sunday in a fall from a second-floor balcony in his home in Nyahururu, Kenya in the Rift Valley.

Varying reports have circulated calling his death a suicide and an accident. All accounts center on a dispute between Wanjiru, his wife and another woman.

“The fact of the matter is that Wanjiru committed suicide,” national police spokesman Eric Kiraithe said to The Associated Press.

But local police chief Jasper Ombati gave the AP a different interpretation of the events. Read the rest of this entry →


May 2011

New York City Marathon: A Lesson From Ryan Hall

Ryan Hall, nyc marathon, ING New York City Marathon, Runner's World

Ryan Hall has had his share of ups and downs as a runner (Photo: Shan213/Flickr)

Runners tend to be goal-oriented people. Whatever the goal may be, we plot, we plan and we train to make it happen—running right, eating right, sleeping right, doing everything “right.” But what happens when something goes wrong?

I found out the hard way in the last two weeks of my training for the 2010 ING New York City Marathon on Nov. 7. Reassessing goals and shifting expectations are among the hardest things a runner can do, especially when the goal is in sight.

Ryan Hall

Take Ryan Hall. After a hot streak in 2007 and 2008—he broke the North American half-marathon record, won the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials and at the London Marathon logged the fastest time ever by an American-born runner—Hall was officially dubbed the next great American marathoner. In 2009, he placed third in the Boston Marathon and won the Philadelphia Distance Run.

Then he made a goal: to break the U.S. marathon record at the 2010 Chicago Marathon on Oct. 10. Read the rest of this entry →


Oct 2010

Injured Lel, Cheruiyot Drop ING New York City Marathon

LONDON - APRIL 13:  Martin Lel of Kenya crosses the line to win the men's event during the 2008 Flora London Marathon on April 13, 2008 in London, England.  (Photo by Hamish Blair/Getty Images)

Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot and Martin Lel, both of Kenya, will not compete in the ING New York City Marathon on Nov. 7 due to injuries.

New York Road Runners announced yesterday that Lel, a two-time New York and three-time London marathon champion, has injured his right leg. Lel, 31, won the ING New York City Marathon in 2003 and 2007. Cheruiyot, a four-time Boston Marathon champion, is out due to a groin injury. Cheruiyot, 32, finished second in New York last year to Meb Keflezighi of the U.S. Read the rest of this entry →


Oct 2010

Wanjiru and Shobukhova Win 2nd Chicago Marathon

Chicago Marathon

The 2010 Bank of America Chicago Marathon (Photo: Steven Dahlman – (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons)

Sammy Wanjiru of Kenya and Liliya Shobukhova of Russia each won their second consecutive Bank of America Chicago Marathon today in the race’s toughest field in history.

In temperatures close to the ’80s, Wanjiru fought off a last mile surge from Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia to win the men’s race in 2:06:24. Kebede, 23, placed second in the sprint finish that saw the two men repeatedly trading the lead over the last mile. Twenty-year-old Fayisa Lilesa of Ethiopia finished third.

With today’s win, Wanjiru has also clinched victory in the 2009-2010 World Marathon Majors, a two-year competition with a $1 million prize purse. Read the rest of this entry →


Oct 2010

New York City Marathon Professional Race Heats Up

new york city marathon

Meb Keflezighi chases down Kenya’s Robert Cheruiyot at the 2009 ING New York City Marathon. (Photo: Randy Lemoine).

The 2010 ING New York City Marathon professional field is shaping up to be one of the most exciting races in recent memory. A stellar field of the world’s top marathoners, including three previous winners and the world record holder, will be lined up at the start on Nov. 7.

Marathon world record holder Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia already announced earlier this year that he’d be running the New York City marathon for the first time in his career. And American Meb Keflezighi also announced he will be back to defend his 2009 title.

But New York Road Runners, the race organizer, recently announced that a slew of other champions will be joining them: two-time ING New York City Marathon champions Martin Lel of Kenya and Marilson Gomes dos Santos of Brazil, as well as four-time Boston Marathon champion Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot. Lel won New York in 2003 and 2007. Dos Santos won in 2006 and 2008. Read the rest of this entry →


Oct 2010

Running Reads for Summer

Photo by Danimages/© PhotoXpress.comI was having dinner with some friends recently when one of them started gushing about a book he just read: Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. His fiancée laughed and said he’d talk about the book to anyone who would listen.

My friend finished his first race—a half-marathon no less—in May, and when I asked him after the race if he was ready to tackle a full marathon, he answered with an emphatic, “No.”

But reading Born to Run changed things. He said it got him excited about running. He said it made him want to get back into a regular training schedule. And he said it made him want to run a marathon. In other words, it inspired him to run.

Good running books will do that. They make you want to fling your book or e-reader across the room and pick up your shoes. They motivate you to tackle a new distance, a new workout, a new training plan, or they get you to run for the joy of running.

Since summer is here, and you’ve probably got some down time scheduled on the beach or by a pool, here are a few of the all-time great running reads. I’m not talking about books about training or how to improve your times; I’m talking about books that delve into the who and why of running, not just the what and the how. Some of these books I’ve read. Some of them I haven’t. But all of them have earned reputations among runners as reads that will put some pep in your step. Read the rest of this entry →


Jul 2010

Shalane Flanagan Will Make Marathon Debut in NYC

EUGENE, OR - JUNE 25: Shalane Flanagan competes in the 10,000 meter final during the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Hayward Field on June 25, 2009 in Eugene, Oregon. Flanagan finished second. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

It seems like everyone wants to run the marathon. And not just any marathon—the ING New York City Marathon. Haile Gebrselassie, the marathon world record holder and undisputed King of the Road, has already announced that he’s running NYC for the first time this fall. Defending NYC champion and American superstar Meb Keflezighi is also returning to defend his title. And now, Shalane Flanagan, America’s track darling, has announced she’ll be making her marathon debut in New York on November 7.

“It’s the ultimate challenge for the distance runner,’’ Flanagan told The Boston Globe. “I would love to win another Olympic medal, but more than anything, I would love to win a major marathon.’’ Read the rest of this entry →


Jun 2010

Haile Gebrselassie Drops Out of NYC Half-Marathon

Haile Gebrselassie

Haile Gebrselassie, at the FBK Games in 2009. (Photo: Erik van Leeuwen via Wikimedia Commons)

Sometimes races don’t go as planned. For Haile Gebrselassie, the world’s most decorated distance runner, yesterday’s NYC Half-Marathon certainly didn’t. He’d won nine of 10 career half-marathons and never lost on American soil—until yesterday.

It seemed like the perfect conditions for running a half—clear sunny skies, a crisp 53 degrees and a slight breeze. Another win for Gebrselassie—and maybe even a 27th world record—seemed like a forgone conclusion. Indeed, he was in first place after 8 miles, when he had an asthma attack, possibly exacerbated by a cold, and eventually dropped out of the race.

“My asthma kicked in from dust in the road,” Gebrselassie said in a statement released by New York Road Runners, who conducted the race. “What are you going to do? It happens.” Read the rest of this entry →


Apr 2010

Haile Gebrselassie Running for Another World Record

Haile Gebrselassie

Haile Gebrselassie, at the FBK Games in 2009. (Photo: Erik van Leeuwen via Wikimedia Commons)

Haile Gebrselassie is a legend in his own time. But the most decorated long-distance runner in history—with 26 world records to his name—isn’t finished by a long shot. Tomorrow, he’s returning to the NYC Half-Marathon—where he owns the course record—for another shot at the half-marathon world record.

Geb, 36, holds the marathon world record—a blistering 2:03:59. But the Ethiopian and Kenya’s young Sammy Wanjiru have been in a trading war over the half since 2005 when Wanjiru first broke the record. Geb took it from him in 2006, but Wanjiru won it back in 2007. Now, Geb wants a 27th record. He posted as much on his Twitter account on Jan. 25th.

“I still feel I can run the WR, so I start focussing on my next race (Half Marathon) in New York in preparation for a new attempt!” Read the rest of this entry →


Apr 2010

The Decade’s Best Moments in Running

best moments, running, Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt celebrates his 100m world-record at the 2008 Olympics. (By Richard Giles [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons)

Call them the best. Call them memorable. Or just call them. Whatever they are, these moments defined running in the first decade of the 21st century. What makes them so great? These 10 performances got people buzzing. My opinion is completely subjective and emotional. I have a thing for runners who fall to the ground in tears (see Nos. 4 and 5), and admire the hubris of runners who not only walk the walk but talk the talk (see Nos. 1 and 9). But I also polled some die-hard runners in the know. Like me they follow the sport—and by follow the sport I mean DVR-ing things like the Rotterdam Marathon. And these moments made short list after short list.

So who made the cut? Drum roll please. Here are the best moments in running of the decade.

11). Best Moments Honorable Mention: You ran a race and raised money for charity in the process

The last decade has been a collective best moment in the history of running. The U.S. is in the midst of a second running boom with year over year records in road race participation. In the marathon alone, the total number of finishers has gone from 299,000 in 2000 to 463,000 in 2009 according to Finisher totals for all road races in the U.S. were 6,482,500 in 1997. Ten years later in 2007? The number of finishers rose by almost 2.5 million to 8,875,000 according Running USA. And more racers have meant more money for all those associated charities. According to the USATF, the amount runners have raised for charity has increased from $520 million in 2002 to $714 million in 2006. Between entrance fees for benefit races and charity partnerships for major races, the running boom is making an impact on more than just the participants. So here’s to all of you runners out there who helped make this collective moment truly one of the high spots in running this decade. Read the rest of this entry →


Jan 2010

The Best Runners of the Decade

best runners, best runners of the decade

Usain Bolt celebrates his Olympic victory. Photo by friskytuna/Flikr.

The end of the “aughts” is upon us, and it’s been quite a decade for running. Here are the 10 runners who thoroughly dominated their fields in the past 10 years—The Best Runners of the Decade. My picks are completely unscientific and subjective, and I’m sure they will incite at least a little grumbling. But these 10 runners have dazzled the world with feats of strength worthy of Festivus, and racked up the hardware to prove it. Drum roll please… Read the rest of this entry →


Dec 2009

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