They say you should never meet your heroes; they’ll never live up to your expectations! Well this morning I had little choice. Just after I sat down for breakfast, Haile started waving and calling me over. I hope that I didn’t disappoint!
Seriously though, Haile Gebrselassie is one of few people that I’ve ever really wanted to meet, and I was disappointed not to have met him when I visited Ethiopia in 2010. I did ‘race’ against him in the Great Birmingham run in 2011, but was just behind the elite startline, so that doesn’t really count. This morning we had a quick chat about training, the weather, and his impending task of pacing the new breed of marathon runners in London in two week’s time. But the moment was extra special because I didn’t have to go up to him and feel like I was making a nuisance of myself. He was the one that initiated the interaction.
He said that he can't train as long as he used to - anything more than two hours is too much for his ageing body! Or maybe having pizza for breakfast is begining to take its toll (well it was my breakfast time, so I can only presume it was his too).
What a hero!