New Haile Gebrselassie Marathon in 2013

Marathon Revealed: Haile Gebrselassie Marathon To Be Run October, 2013
Mountain Sports of San Diego announced the creation of the first annual Haile
Gebrselassie Marathon. For the past several months, Moray Mountain has been
promoting its Mystery Marathon, but the race was just recently revealed as the
Haile Gebrselassie Marathon to be held on October 20, 2013 in Hawassa,
It will be
a marathon of many firsts. Most importantly, it will be the first peoples’
marathon to ever be held in Ethiopia‰ÛÓthe birthplace of some of the greatest
marathoners in the world. The marathon and accompanying half marathon will have
an elite portion of the race, but it will also be open to Ethiopians and
Westerners who wish to experience the charm and beauty of this East African
This race
will also be the first to bear the name of the greatest distance runner in
world history: Haile Gebrselassie. The Ethiopian legend, who has set 27 world
track and road records and won four World Championship titles and two Olympic
gold medals in the 10,000 meters, was instrumental in bringing this event to
his homeland. Gebrselassie, who owns a hotel in Hawassa, will be a full
participant in the event.
Yet another
first: The men’s and women’s winner of the marathon will each receive 12 ounces
of gold (current value: $1800 an ounce). In addition, 12 other participants in
the marathon, half marathon or accompanying 5-K will be chosen at random to
each receive one ounce of gold.
The Haile
Gebrselassie Marathon and half marathon, as well as the 5K, will be held in
Hawassa, a city of approximately 250,000 in south central Ethiopia, about 220
miles south of the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa. But unlike the capital
city which sits at more than 7,500 feet above sea level, Hawassa is at a much
more moderate elevation of 5,600 feet and has a dry, pleasant climate. Hawassa
is on the shores of Lake Awasa in the great Rift Valley, ancestral home of the
world’s greatest distance runners.
The races
will be held entirely within the city limits of Hawassa and be contested on a
flat, accurate, two-loop course (one loop for the half marathoners). Other than
a short stretch on a hard-packed dirt road, the race will be on pavement with
plenty of aid stations with purified water and sports drink as well as native
musicians along the course. The start/finish of the races are within easy
walking distance of the race hotels.
There will
be plenty of pre and post race festivities, including a pre-race dinner hosted
by Bart Yasso of Runner’s World as well as an appearance by the affable
Gebrselassie who will welcome all the runners to his native country.
The name of
the organizing company‰ÛÓMoray Mountain Sports‰ÛÓmight be unfamiliar, but the
principle behind it is Tim Murphy. Murphy, who started Elite Racing of San
Diego, is the man responsible for such now-commonplace innovations as blending
kids and elite races, music and bands along race courses and multi-loop races.
Murphy created such prestigious events as the Carlsbad 5000 and the Arturo
Barrios 10K as well as the Rock ‰Û¢n’ Roll series of marathons and half
Murphy sold
the Rock ‰Û¢n’ Roll franchise five years ago to Competitor, Inc. Since the sale,
he has been inactive in the running business but itching to get back. “I always
knew I’d put on another marathon,” says Murphy, “but I never wanted to put on
just another me-too race. That’s why a marathon in Ethiopia is so intriguing.
Runners today have done all the big races and are looking for something
different, something distinctive, something to add to their bucket list. That’s
what the Haile Gebrselassie Marathon is all about. It will be a unique event in
an area of the world few Westerners have ever run.”
Judging by
the more than 25,000 inquiries received about the Mystery Marathon, high demand
is expected for the Haile Gebrselassie Marathon but entries will be limited to
the first 1200 runners.
For more
information, go to
or go to Questions can be directed to

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