Haile Gebrselassie set to defend Great Scottish Run title

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Haile Gebrselassie will return to the streets of Glasgow for this year’s Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run on Sunday, October 5.

The Ethiopian’s record-breaking run in 2013 saw him run the fastest time ever ran in Scotland for the half marathon (61 minutes and nine seconds) and better a world age-group best.

The 41-year-old distance running great has smashed world records from two miles all the way up to the marathon, and has not ruled out improving on last year’s Scottish all-comers’ half marathon mark.

Gebrselassie spoke: “I have fantastic memories of my first race in Scotland and I am delighted to be coming back to race in the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run for a second time.

“It’s a great race with a great atmosphere and the organisation is superb.”

Battling with wind and rain through parts of the course in 2013, the Ethiopian hopes better weather conditions can equate to faster running in 2014’s edition of the event, but insists he “cannot indicate at this stage” what time he will run.

A troubled year saw Gebrselassie pull out of the Hamburg marathon due to a pollen allergy and undergo minor knee surgery, but the Ethiopian assures this is all in the past.

“My training is going well. When you are an older athlete you have to be serious in your training and in how you take your rest and how you are preparing, but I am still doing well at 41,” he said.

‘Super mum’ Jo Pavey forms part of the women’s line-up of the Great Scottish Run and her incredible feats in Glasgow and Zurich this summer, Gebrselassie believes, are further proof that age “is just a number.”

The Ethiopian added: “If you ask her, she will say it was not her feet or her legs that won her those medals; it was her heart.

“I think what Jo has done this summer is amazing.  Some athletes complain at the age of 30 or 31 that they are getting tired. Jo is a good example of what you can do when you get older – and maybe myself too.”