G4S Ambassador Haile Gebrselassie wins again in Dubai
G4S Global Sports Ambassador, Haile Gebrselassie, set a blistering pace to win the 2009 Dubai marathon in wet conditions in the United Arab Emirates on Friday. Gebrselassie, who was inside his own world record pace for most of the race, was hampered by heavy rain and a strong head wind over the final ten kilometres which ultimately put pay to his chances of setting yet another world record over the 26 mile distance.
The two-time Olympic gold medallist had looked in perfect condition to push his world record mark, set in Berlin in September last year, very close. With cool weather and a flat course that looked certain to favour a fast time, the assembled crowds were hopeful of seeing an historic time set on the streets of Dubai.
Indeed the chances looked good as the Ethiopian maintained regular split times around 20 seconds insides world record pace. The unusual weather conditions late on inevitably slowed the pace, however, and Gebrselassie finished in a time of 02h:05m:29s, over two minutes ahead of his closest challenger.
Speaking after the race Gebrselassie said:
"Everybody expected a world record but I’m really pleased with my time today. I am very happy because it is my best time in this kind of weather. It was a fantastic race - the pacemakers were perfect, it is just that the last part of the race was too rainy so i am happy overall.
I was expecting the wind to be behind me in the second part of the race but when i turned back at half way the wind was going into me and i saw the rain clouds ahead so i knew it would be difficult.
The course here is perfect for a fast race. If you want to run a good time, Dubai is the best."
The double Olympic Champion heads up G4S’ global sports programme – G4S 4teen – which provides support to a group of 14 young sports stars from around the world towards their dreams of competing at London 2012. Gebrselassie is acting as a mentor to all the athletes, providing assistance and advice across their professional careers. Earlier this year five of the G4S 4teen athletes competed ahead of schedule at the Beijing Olympic Games, alongside Haile Gebrselassie.