Super-fast elite field for 10th Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon
King Haile is event ambassador
Mumbai, 17th Jan, 2013: “Win over yourself, that’s the most important lesson in life,” says the King’ Haile ‘Gebrselassie, the event ambassador for the 10th edition of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon. The world’s greatest long distanced runner and sporting icon has 27 world records to his credit.
Haile Gebrselassie, winner of two Olympic Gold Medals (10,000m, 1996, 2000), four World Championship Gold medals (10,000m) and four World Indoor Championship Gold medals (3000m & 1500m), considers Worku Bikella as his inspiration.
After bidding adieu to his career on track, Haile crowned himself the ‘King’ of the Road’ in September 2008, when, at the age of 35, he won the Berlin Marathon with a world record time of 2:03.59, breaking his own world record by 27 seconds. Haile has won the Berlin Marathon four times consecutively and also had three straight wins at the Dubai Marathon. Further to this he was also the 2001 World Half Marathon champion.
Speaking to the media, Haile said, “For me, a day without running is like a day without eating. I run to improve myself with every run. Even though a competition is just a part of the race, these championships and world records are very motivating. If you need to cleanse your brain, you need to run and sweat, get up in the morning and get going.”
Making a historic return to the Marathon is South African Hendrick Ramaala, the winner of the inaugural event in 2004. After winning in Mumbai, Ramaala went on to win the New York Marathon and emerged as one of the leading marathoners in the world.
Still running competitively at the age of 40, Ramaala clocked 2:12 in the Dubai Marathon in 2012. ”I have really fond memories of the 2004 Marathon. I had come only to enjoy the race, not to break records. The Mumbai Marathon was the first Marathon I won, and it sure was an easy win. It will always be a memorable one”
Defending champion Laban Moiben of Kenya hopes to break his own record that he set last year. He explains, “In Kenya, 20 of us train together without a coach and set our own regimes. It helps us to understand each one’s problems and work on them individually. Every marathon runner will agree that the last 20 kms are difficult, but in Mumbai it is even tougher because of the heat and the humidity.”
Leading International women’s athlete Aberu Mekuria from Ethiopia said, “I started running during my school days just as a hobby. I followed up on it and took it up professionally. Though I am not completely aware of the track history of the Mumbai Marathon, I hope to break all records and win the race.”