World marathon record holder, Haile Gebreselassie of Ethiopia, is to make a star appearance at the second Glo Lagos International Half Marathon coming up on February 21, 2009.
While in the country, the fastest long distance runner will pair up with three- time world Half Marathon record holder, Lornah Kiplagat of Netherlands to hold an educative and inspirational clinic for young upcoming athletes on the eve of the half Marathon in Lagos. The Ethiopian will also spare time to interact with the press on arrival at the airport.
The duo of Gebreselassie and Kiplagat will lead an array of 44 international road runners to the Glo Lagos half marathon.
Two former Lagos Half marathon Champions : Millicent Boadi of Ghana who won the Lagos International Half Marathon in 2005 and Dieudonne Disi from Rwanda who won the first Glo Lagos Half Marathon in 2007 have equally confirmed their participation in this year's Lagos road race.
Gebreselassie is an Ethiopian long distance track and road running athlete who has broken 26 world records and won numerous Olympic and World Championship titles, and is widely considered one of the greatest distance runners in history.
He set his first World Record in 1994 in the 5000m in Holland - breaking the 6 year old world record of Said Aouita.
At age 16, without any formal training, he entered the Addis Ababa marathon, and finished in 2:42.
Haile rose to international prominence in 1992 when he won the 5000m and 10,000m World Junior championships. In 1993 at the Stuttgart World championships, he won the 10,000m and got second in the 5000m.
High power field
Notable distance running stars who have been confirmed for the race are:
Luke Kibet of Kenya who is the reigning world marathon champion and winner of Singapore Marathon in December 2008.
Tsegay Kebede of Ethiopia - winner Fukuoka Marathon (Japan 2008), Paris Marathon (France 2008) and Great North Run Half Marathon Newcastle (England 2008).
Hendrick Ramaala of South Africa - three- time winner of the Great North Run Half Marathon, Newcastle U.K., ( 2006, 2003 and 1997) and Hilda Kibet of Netherlands who won the New York City Half Marathon in 2007 and City Pier City Half Marahton in Den Haag, Netherlands also in 2007.
Already, run-up to the Glo Lagos Half marathon is in top gear with Lagos State Government setting up a high-powered committee to plan the involvement of the State in the execution of the event.
According to the State's commissioner for Youth Sports and Social Development, Prince Ademola Adeniji-Adele the committee is working with the Local Organising Committee of the race to prepare grounds for an excellent event that will highlight the beauty and potentials of Lagos as a Mega City.
For more information, visit http://www.glolagosmarathon.com