Gebrselassie wins the 10 Miles in Tilburg (© TTM / Jan Stads)
Tilburg, The NetherlandsClocking 44:24 Haile Gebrselassie ran the fastest ever Ten Miles on the road when winning the Tilburg Ten Mile race.
On a very warm (26 degrees CT) sunny day the 32-year-old Ethiopian was a size to large for his opponents of whom Luke Kibet came home second 2:29 minutes later. Gebs time was 21 seconds better than the 44:45 Kenyan Paul Koech ran nearly eight years ago in the 'Dam to Dam' loop at Zaandam on a point to point course. Another Kenyan, Martin Irungu was the fastest until now in a Ten Miles race on a loop course when he clocked 44:51 at Kosa (Japan) on 12 December 2004.
Gebrselassie is preparing for his second marathon, which he will run on 16 October in the ING Amsterdam Marathon.
The Ethiopian was very happy afterwards. “I knew I could run but not yet a World best. Afterwards I felt I could run faster but the weather circumstances were not ideal. With 26 degrees it was hot therefore I sought always the shadow on the road but it was not always there. I also missed somebody who could press me. I was too early alone leading.”
After a first 5 kilometres in 13:46 there were already only two men leading the field in the city in the south of Holland, where on 11 December the European Cross Country Championships will be held. After six kilometres Gebrselassie’s last opponent, Luke Kibet of Kenya, lost contact. With his easy stride the Ethiopian, cheered on by tens of thousands of short sleeved spectators, passed 10km in 27:35, with Kibet already nearly a minute (56 sec) back.
With his usual big smile Gebrselassie said afterwards: “The day before the race I studied with my manager Jos Hermens the split-times that Paul Koech ran eight years ago. I knew it was possible to run under his 44:45.”
“The Emperor” which is Gebrselassies nickname, said also that he was inspired by the World record at 10,000 metres that his young compatriot and friend Kenenisa Bekele ran at the Van Damme Memorial at Brussels ten days before. “Now he inspired me just as I did him earlier.”
The new fastest man ever at Ten Miles did not want to say something substantial about his forthcoming start in the Amsterdam Marathon. “My preparation is going very well as I could feel here but within six weeks a lot is depending on the weather. I know the course is fast and I hope to go for a personal best.”
After ten kilometres it was clear that Gebrselassie would better the World best time ever by a wide margin. Clocking every kilometre a split around 2:45 he passed the 15 kilometres point in 41:22. His average over the 10 miles was 21,747 kms/h.
Women - Edith Masai wins 10km
Before the 10 Miles there was a 10 kilometres ‘women only’ run. Edith Masai was the fastest in 31:37, running the first 5km in 15:36. The Kenyan woman who finished fifth in the 10,000 metres at the Helsinki World championships on 6 August (30:30,26) finished 42 seconds ahead of the petite Bizunesh Bekele of Ethiopia. Hungarian Aniko Kolovics came home third.
Wim van Hemert for the IAAF
Tilburg 10 miles
1. Haile Gebrselassie (Eth) 44:24 (world best)
2. Luke Kibet (Ken) 46:53
3. Sammy Rongo (Ken) 47:08
4. Emanuel Mutai (Ken) 47:37
5. Jamal Baligha (Mor) 47:43
6. Segej Lebed (Ukr) 48:16
7. Koen Raymaekers (Ned) 49:28
8. Guy Fays (Bel) 49:35
9. Stefan van den Broeck (Bel) 49:37
10. Martin Lauret (Ned) 49:48
10km Ladies Run
1. Edith Masai (Ken) 31:37
2. Bizunesh Bekele (Eth) 32:19
3. Aniko Kalovics (Hun) 32:34
4. Rose Cheruiyot (Ken) 32:50
5. Mounia Aboulahcen (Bel) 34:25
6. Kristyna Loonen (Ned) 34:29
7. Nadja Wijenberg (Ned) 35:06
8. Wilma van Onna (Ned) 35.11