Running with Haile Gebrselassie

If you follow me on twitter or Facebook, you’ll already know that this happened on Sunday…

I got to run with the marathon legend that is Haile Gebrselassie. He’s won two gold medals, won 4 Boston Marathons, broken 27 world records, and still holds the Masters Age group world record which starts for athletes over the age of 35. Suffice to say he’s a pretty good runner!

To celebrate the 1st birthday of their Boost shoe range, Adidas invited a group of bloggers and journalists to run with Haile around Hyde Park.

We were so lucky-the sun was shining and it was finally a little warmer than it has been in weeks, although I wasn’t as brave as some in their shorts! Hyde Park and St James’ Park looked absolutely gorgeous, I can’t wait until summer! We started with a warm up, it included a number of moves that I’ll definitely be featuring in future warm ups. I particularly need to start including some of the hamstring stretches.

We then set off on our run, Zoe and I were quickly left at the back of the group with a few others. Haile and the others set off at a faster pace than we were able to keep up with, particularly after I’d run already that morning.

We were all told to deck ourselves out in our Adidas kit, and were given t-shirts to wear. I regretted choosing black when Haile was signing tops later, bit of a fail that I couldn’t get mine signed. We later discovered that Haile was wearing two pairs of leggings and four tops! Obviously not used to the British cold weather! Funny considering I was pretty warm by the end of our run in capri’s, a long sleeve top and a t-shirt. 

We would catch up with the front group at the traffic lights only to lose them again. I think we were running about 8.30-9 min miles- scary to think how fast Haile actually runs during a marathon!

Luckily, at a traffic light we managed to catch up with Haile and bombard him for a few photos.

Not only that, but we were actually able to run alongside him for a bit and ask him a few questions. I was totally unprepared question wise, but I did get to ask him a few. His answers are slightly ad-libbed by me as I was definitely not taking notes whilst we were running.

Do you like training in London?
Yes, but I prefer racing. 

What’s your favourite marathon?

How many miles do you run a week, on average?
I don’t work in miles, but I run 210-200 km a week. 

How do you fit that in?
It’s my job! I do two-a-days, everybody does. I run outside in the morning, then about 10K on the treadmill in the afternoon. 

Do you cross train?
Yes I use the stationary bike and do light weights. 

Upon finishing the run, Haile led us in a cool down stretch, whilst talking to us about why he runs- ‘because running is everything’ for him. He was saying that it’s the best medicine, and that people should do it not only to lose weight, but to release and reduce stress.

Thank you so much to Haile and Adidas for such an awesome Sunday run, definitely not my typical training run. My training this week has been a little lacklustre, so I’m hoping that running with such a legend will spur me on to work hard, and to put the training in to meet some fairly ambitious running goals I’ve set for myself over the next few months and years. Whilst I won’t be winning the Berlin marathon, I do want to crush my sub 4 hour goal in September!



  1. February 17, 2014 / 10:46 am

    Oh Charlie!! That’s amazing!! I’m overawed just READING your post!! Wow! *May have lost ability to write a coherent comment as slightly starstruck by association*

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