Haile Gebrselassie winning the Dubai MarathonRain thwarted Haile Gebrselassie in his attempt to break his own world record in the marathon this morning in Dubai. He set the world record at 2:03:59 last year in Berlin, but went out a bit too fast in the first 10k in his attempt to break the record at Dubai in 2008. This year, he was about 20 seconds faster at the halfway point in 61:45 but the weather didn’t cooperate over the second half of the course as a steady rain eroded his time to 90 seconds behind his Berlin record.

The Dubai Marathon is the richest in the world, and Gebrselassie’s win still netted him $250,000. Had he broken the world record, he would have won a $1,000,000 bonus. He is already looking forward to Dubai in 2010 and to the Olympics in 2012.

“Everybody was expecting me to break the world record here, but I am very pleased with the time I ran today,” said the 35-year-old Gebrselassie. “This is my best time in wet weather. It could have been much worse, but I’m really happy with the time.

“I saw the clouds ahead and it looked like it was going to be difficult,” he said. “Sometimes it’s not just about defeating time, sometimes you defeat yourself. When I saw the rain coming, I defeated myself. But it (a new record) will happen. I will come back next year.”

The race was his 4th fastest performance in the marathon, which is impressive not only in its own right but also due to the weather.

(More Info: Associated Press – Photo Credit: AP Photo/Tracy Brand)