NUMBER 1: Haile Gebrselassie

Gebrselassie outsprints Tergat at the Sydney Olympics

Gebrselassie outsprints Tergat at the Sydney Olympics

Haile Gebrselassie is the greatest distance runner of all-time, and I think you can make an argument that he is the greatest athlete of all-time.

Haile’s breakthrough came in 1993 at the World Championships when he took Gold in 10,000m. He went on to repeat that feat in 1995, 1997 and 1999.

Haile took Gold in the 10,000m at the Atlanta Olympics where he defeated Paul Tergat in the first of two memorable Olympic duels.

Gebrselassie at the Atlanta Olympics

Gebrselassie at the Atlanta Olympics

Words cannot do justice to their rematch at the Sydney Olympics, so I’ll let you watch it here instead:

Despite two close battles, both won by Haile, they have remained besties.

Gebrselassie/Tergat selfie

Gebrselassie/Tergat selfie

Haile’s PRs on the track include:
mile – 3:52:39
two miles – 8:01.08
5000m – 12:39.36
10,000m – 26:22.75

As good as he was on the track, he may have been even better on the roads. Haile’s road PRs include:
10 miles – 44:24
half marathon – 58:55
marathon – 2:03:59

Not only that, but Haile continues to impress. He is now over 40, but he still managed a 1:00:41 half marathon last fall – the fastest ever by someone over 40 (ironically, this is not world record eligible because it was done on a slightly downhill course; however, considering the rain and wind that day, Haile can probably run even faster).

Gebrselassie dueling with Farah and Bekele at the Great North Run

Gebrselassie dueling with Farah and Bekele at the Great North Run

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3 Responses to NUMBER 1: Haile Gebrselassie

  1. Robin says:

    omg that video. chills.

    • Jason says:

      probably the best Olympic finish ever (although I also love El Guerrouj/Lagat in the 1500m in Athens) – I almost feel bad for Tergat – the guy ran the perfect race, finished with unbelievable speed and still came in second.

  2. therunninger says:

    Gives me goose bumps everytime I see that race, and I’ve seen it many many times. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. Gebrselassie is the King.

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