The above is from an Adidas commercial which has to be one of the best commercials ever made. And Haile Gebrselassie is part of a group of seven legendary athletes featured with Muhammed Ali as they set off for a long run. You can watch the commercial here.
Earlier this evening in Ostrava, Czech Republic, Haile Gebrselassie showed exactly why he deserved to be on the above mentioned Adidas ad. Haile proved nothing is impossible by setting two world records in the 20000M and one hour run.
Many people, including Haile's own countrymen, had started to doubt Haile calling on him to retire from athletics. Many opined that it is impossible for him to win again. Well, Haile has proven once again that he is truly one of a kind with a return to the track for a fast 10000M in Hengelo last month, and two more world records added to his collection tonight.
Haile's new record for the 20000M is 56:25.98 which is nearly a 30 second improvement on the previous record. For the one hour run, Haile covered 21285M which is 184M farther than the previous record.
Haile looked very smooth and comfortable all through the one hour run. He passed the 10000M mark in 28:11 which was 2 seconds faster than the winning time in the 10000M at the US National Championships last week! The last of the pacemakers for today's run dropped out at the 12000M mark which was around 34 minutes in to the race. So Haile had to run the last 26 minutes all by himself, but stayed on an amazingly consistent 67 sec per lap pace for the remaining part of the race. Haile looked amazingly fresh at the end of the run and took the time for a victory lap thanking his fans and giving high fives and displaying his beaming smile.
Tonight showed why Haile is the greatest distance runner of all time, and all indications are that it is just a matter of time before Haile breaks the marathon world record and puts it out of reach for sometime. Carol Lewis, one of the commentators on the telecast, gave perhaps the best description of Haile: "incredible talent and a true gentleman."
Thank you Haile for once again lifting the spirit of Ethiopia!