20 JAN 2011 General News Manchester, UK

Gebrselassie to chase fourth Manchester Run title

Third Manchester 10Km title for Gebrselassie (2010) (Mark Shearman)Third Manchester 10Km title for Gebrselassie (2010) (Mark Shearman) © Copyright
The legendary Haile Gebrselassie, having back tracked on his announcement made last November to retire, will chase a fourth Bupa Great Manchester Run title on 15 May.

The Bupa Great Manchester Run is an IAAF Gold Label Road Race.

Gebrselassie stunned the athletics world when, after dropping out of the New York Marathon, he immediately announced his retirement from a sport where he has dominated distance running and posted 27 World records during his glittering career.
 
But eight days later, after returning home and seriously considering his spur of the moment decision in New York, the 37-year-old Ethiopian and two-time Olympic 10,000m gold medallist changed his mind, to the relief of his army of fans.
 
Former British Olympian Brendan Foster was one of many close friends of Gebrselassie who helped persuade the world's greatest-ever distance runner that still being at the top of the tree, he must continue racing.
 
"I know all of the pleas made by myself and others to carry on competing were appreciated and considered by Haile and sent a clear message he still has a great future ahead. The possibility of taking part in next year's London Olympic Games was also a key factor," said Foster.
 
"Now we're going to see him make his first appearance in Britain since winning last autumn's Bupa Great North Run and I know, as always, he'll get a great welcome in Manchester, particularly as he is chasing a third successive victory."
 
Gebrselassie resumed his career in Angola with a solid New Year's Eve success and his next outings will see him take part in the Tokyo Marathon on 27 February and the Vienna City Half Marathon on 17 April, before heading to the Bupa Great Manchester Run.
 
The World Marathon record holder, who smashed the UK All-Comers' 10Km road running record on his first appearance in 2005, has in the last two years added another two victories with dominating performances around the speedy course.
 
"I'm delighted to be returning for a fourth occasion and I think everyone, particularly Brendan, knows it is one of my favourite venues with such a fast and flat course which suits my style of running," said Gebrselassie.
 
"It was great to be back racing on New Year's Eve and even better that I won against a very strong field. My main objective now is to win in Tokyo next month before turning my attention to Vienna and then Manchester.
 
"Really it's great to be back competing and I'm glad I reversed the hasty decision I made in New York. Running every day is in my blood and I will continue to do so for a long time."
 
Organisers for the IAAF