Haile Gebrselassie | dob 18 April 1973 | Personal Bests: 5K – 12:39.36 (Helsinki, 1998), 10K – 26:22 (Hengelo, 1998), Half – 58:55 (Arizona, 2006) and Full – (2:03:59, Berlin)
I can still remember watching him on TV during the final kilometers of the Berlin Marathon when he set the world record. He made the final kilometers of the Full looks so easy. Effortless.
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Monday. I was away from work all of last week. A workshop and TheWedding2 kept me occupied. After being away for a week, it took awhile before I was able to clear my emails. While having my break, I started going through the usual email clutter of assorted announcements and newsletters.
When I got to the email from our CLO, my heart stopped. Sitting buried in my inbox was an invitation to run with Haile Gebrselassie. I looked closer and it is indeed Haile and not Lionel Richie on the flyer. It doesn’t say what the run was for and why he was going to be in the Philippines. I didn’t really care. I like, I want, I need to be there! Two lines jumped out of the flyer and it broke my heart. RSVP 19 February 2010. Limited slots. * groan * Too late! Too late!
After I calmed down, I decided to send email to the address provided in the RSVP. Maybe somebody cancelled. Maybe they still have slots. Maybe. Oh please running gods let there be an available slot.
At the Globe Run for Home launch, I even asked Jinoe if he has heard anything about Haile being in the Philippines. He said that it is on Twitter. He didn’t have further details.
I doubted the invitation again. Could it be real?
Tuesday. When I arrived at work early Tuesday morning, I found an email from the G4S representative. Yes there is still a slot! I shrieked! Then I skipped and hopped out of the office to tell the bosses that I will be late for work on Thursday. I think I manage to gush out 2:03.59. Haile. Marathon. In the Philippines. They understood. They know that I’m crazy about anything running.
Wednesday. The invitation finally arrived via messenger. It is real. In less than 24hours, I will be running with Haile. No, I didn’t blog about it. I hinted but I couldn’t blog about it. What if he doesn’t arrive? What if I find Lionel Richie at the Polo Club instead of Haile. I do wish I could have taken T2 (and all you guys with me) but I had to beg for the additional invite already. 20years of friendship trumps pretty much everything. 😀
Cecil picked up on the hint in my previous blog entry. He also confirmed that Haile is indeed in town. Yipee!
I couldn’t sleep on Wednesday night. Excited! Oh yeah!
Thursday. I woke early and headed to the Fort. I will be meeting Mesh at 6:45am. The invitation said that warm-up is at 7am, training run at 7:15 and cool down at 7:45.
We were greeted with runners wearing a shirt that says, “I ran with Haile Gebrselassie”.
Mesh and I both had silly grins. It is real! This is really happening. We will be running with Haile!