Haile GebrselassieHaving broken the world record in the marathon a couple times over the past few years, you had to expect that Haile Gebrselassie was going to be doing something special again in the next few. Who could have expected, though, that after breaking 2 hours and 4 minutes just last September that he would be able to take a whopping 1 minutes and 22 seconds off of the record to run a 2:02:37?!?!

That just boggles my mind.

He ran that amazing time through the Sahara in Morocco, taking advantage of the new marathon option in the Marathon Des Sables ultra-endurance run, which has traditionally been a 6 day, 151 mile race from late March through early April.

“We decided to add a marathon option this year in an effort to increase exposure for the race and to raise more money for Facing Africa, an attempt at elminating NOMA from our lands. NOMA is a vicious and deadly gangrene that eats away the flesh around the mouth and face of children aged mainly up to 6 years and that has a 70-90% mortality rate. Getting Haile here in our first year was a great boon, and we are so proud of his performance on our course,” said Patrick Bauer, the founder and race director of the Marathon Des Sables.

His amazing performance this morning in Morocco more than makes up for slipping back and “only” running 2:05:29 in Dubai 3 months ago.

I can’t think of a better way to start April, although I have to wonder…is sub-2 hours possible? If so, is Gebreselassie going to be the one that breaks that arbitrary but nearly insurmountable time? To do so, he’d need to cut 6 seconds off of his per mile pace to a blazing 4:35/mile pace.

I’d think it was impossible if he hadn’t already shown he could run a 4:41/mile pace. What do you think?

Update: I’m heading for bed, so I’m laying this story to to bed as well. Yes, MdS is 151 miles & not 26.2, yes, it is April 1st, and no, Gebrsellassie was not there. But I did get a lot of good emails, both from folks that didn’t notice the tongue-in-cheekness and from those that did. Hope you all had as much fun as I did.