Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Hail Haile

The word marathon conjures up, for me, endurance runners from Ethiopia or Kenya, slim and athletic, running alone or in a pack of 3 or 4 with their arms close to their chest, their teeth grit, faces grim with concentration and determination, looking for glory in what was one of the earliest Olympiad athletic games. For whatever little I tracked of marathons or long distance running, Haile Gebrselassie, from Ethiopia, remained the most in the limelight. I don't recollect how and where my introduction to him was, maybe at some TV telecast of Olympics, in all probability. I liked the name the first time I heard it, and it sounded rhythmic and with a nice trail and tongue rolls, and so I liked the man himself. :-D

Image courtesy: Wikipedia page on
Haile Gebrselassie
In any of the marathons that I watched on TV, I used to look out for Gebrselassie and track him. It is a sport by itself, watching marathons, as the crowd at the start slowly sieves itself into multiple groups, as the lead pack slowly splits, the short sprints towards the finish, the looks over the shoulders, the pain of cramps visible on their faces. They even seem to have team strategies in marathons, like cycling, having pacers for the lead runners and study the routes to make the best out of it. Whatever it was, Gebrselassie broke record after record and that is what stands (or should it be 'runs') behind him.

Now that he has announced his retirement from active running, 'Hail Haile Gebrselassie', who has been an inspiration to thousands in the world, and to a small extent, to me as well, when I used to jog, some time (or was it a long time!) back. Hmmm. Now I have become lazy to even walk in the mornings, these days.


Anonymous said...

eppa saaami....neenga walking jogging lenthu apeet agarathuku ipdi oru bitta!!!!! mudialaaaaaaa

Ramesh said...

An all time great indeed. Ethiopia seems to produce them all the time - Bikila, Yifter, Gebreselassie and now Bekele. Very nice post marking the farewell of a truly great runner.

R-ambam said...

romba kadan vaangirupaaro ?? :p

actually happen to watch 'Invictus' last week, wanted to post on it..sports pathi eduthukku thaevai illama karuthu nu vittutein .. this one reminded me of that beautiful movie :) thanks!

RamMmm said...

@gils-bitnnu sollitteengalae. :-( Grrrr...

@Ramesh-:-) True, Ethiopia and Kenya seem to bring out these long distance runners like the summer blooms. :-) And, thanks.

@R-ambam- :-D Ada pohnga neenga! He is one of the few top millionaires in Ethiopia. :-)

You should have posted and still you can go ahead and post on Invictus. I have not yet seen it though.