Ethiopian long distance great to run Glasgow event for second time in October

Haile Gebrselassie is to return to the roads of Glasgow on October 5 as he defends his Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run title.

The Ethiopian long distance great set a Scottish all-comers’ half-marathon record when clocking 61:09 for victory at last year’s event, his time also the quickest ever recorded by an M40 athlete.

“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,” said the 41-year-old.

On whether he thinks he might be able to improve on his time from last year, Gebrselassie said: “Who knows? The weather was not bad last year but there was a little bit of rain towards the end and it was a little bit windy in another part.

“So maybe, with better weather this year, I can run faster. What was important last year was not the time but to win the race. It was my first ever race in Scotland and I wanted to win it. This year, we will see. I cannot indicate at this stage what time I am going to run.”

He added: “I had a problem earlier this year – I had a small surgery to my knee – but that is gone now. 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.”

Jo Pavey is another world-class athlete confirmed for the Glasgow event and she will also be 41 years of age when she takes to the streets of the Scottish city.

She will be racing her first half-marathon in more than two years when she returns to the city in which she won Commonwealth 5000m bronze this summer, which she followed up with European 10,000m gold in Zurich.

“Age does not matter,” said Gebrselassie. “It is just a number. Jo Pavey showed that when she won her bronze medal in Glasgow and then won the European 10,000m title in Zurich. If you ask her, she will say it was not her feet or her legs that won her those medals; it was her heart.”

Pavey said: “It means a lot to me to be coming back to Glasgow and I think it will be quite emotional, especially as the course goes past many of the venues that were used at the Games.

“It’s a long time since I’ve had the opportunity to run in a big road race and the Great Scottish Run will be a fantastic half marathon for me to be involved with, especially after the experience I had at the Commonwealth Games.”

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