RUNNING MAN: Haile Gebrselassie wins the Glasgow half-marathon in 2013 (PA)
LONG DISTANCE running icon Haile Gebrselassie is set to lead the London Marathon as pacemaker in a bid to provide a world record pace over the first 30km.
The 40-year-old star, who has previously won two 10,000m Olympic titles and hit the world record time for the marathon, was asked to be lead pacemaker for the April 13 event in the capital which includes Britain’s top distance runner Mo Farah.
Speaking about his upcoming effort to help break the world record marathon time in London, Gebrselassie said: “I'm going to do something useful to keep the right pace at the right time to attack the world record.”
On the subject of Farah’s prospects, Gebrselassie said: “In his first marathon, he [Farah] doesn't need to win or run a fast time, but learn about the distance.
“He can do what he wants in his second or third marathon. I only ran 2:06 in my first one and after that I returned to the track as it was too early.
“In terms of his speed, Mo can run more on the track. He ran three minutes 28 seconds for 1,500m which I couldn't do. To do a marathon is up to him, he can run a good one.”
The Ethiopian legend has already smashed 27 world records over his incredible career and claimed first place in four Berlin Marathons.
Hugh Brasher, London Marathon’s race director, added: “With Haile pacing and four of the fastest marathon runners in history in the race, there's a real chance we will see something special.”
Team GB star Farah will face stiff competition for glory from rivals Wilson Kipsang, who currently holds the world record, and Stephen Kiprotich, who is holder of both the world and Olympic marathon titles.