The organisers of the Fortis City-Pier-City half marathon have announced the start of Haile Gebrselassie in the 35th edition of the event in The Hague on Saturday 14 March.
The World Marathon record holder travels with a special mission to Den Haag. He wants to recapture the World record half marathon record. Gebrselassie lost his half marathon mark on 17 March 2007 to Samuel Wanjiru. On the proven fast course in Den Haag the Kenyan clocked a time of 58:33. With that time Wanjiru knocked 22 seconds off the time Haile Gebrselassie set in Phoenix on 15 January 2006.
“It will be my first running of the City-Pier-City. I know The Netherlands very well. I know that road race courses here are mostly very flat and fast. The fact that Wanjiru broke my World record here is an extra motivation,” Gebrselassie said in a prepared statement. “It proves the course is very fast. From experience I know that the organisation of road races in The Netherlands is excellent.”
Haile Gebrselassie has broken in his rich career until now 27 World records indoors and outdoor. “When my running career is over I will have broken thirty World records. The City-Pier-City half marathon looks an excellent opportunity to bring this goal nearer.
The Ethiopian ran the fastest half marathon in 2008 with 59:15. He clocked that time in Lisbon on 16 March. World record holder Wanjiru is fourth on the world ranking list half marathon with a time of 59:26 (Granollers, February 3rd).
The 35th edition of the Fortis CPC loop is also venue of the national championships half marathon.
Wim van Hemert for the IAAF