Haile Gebrselassie set for first Great Birmingham Run

Former world marathon record-holder Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia will compete in the first ever Bupa Great Birmingham Run on 23 October.

Race organiser Brendan Foster said it was "fantastic" that the man he called "the greatest runner of all time" would run in the half-marathon.

Gebrselassie failed to finish the Berlin Marathon, while Kenya's Patrick Makau beat his record  by 21 seconds.

But Gebrselassie still hopes to compete in next year's London Olympics .

As well as a brace of Olympic 10,000m gold medals, in Atlanta in 1996 and Sydney four years later, Gebrselassie has won four World Championship 10,000m golds and four World Indoor Championship golds - three at 3,000m and one at 1500m.

GEBRSELASSIE AT THE OLYMPICS

  • 2008 - 6th (10,000m)
  • 2004 - 5th (10,000m)
  • 2000 - gold (10,000m)
  • 1996 - gold (10,000m)

He also has nine marathon victories to his name during a glittering 20-year career, but has been suffering from exercise-induced asthma, which contributed to him dropping out the race in Berlin after 21 miles.

Meanwhile Makau beat Gebrselassie's world record time of two hours, three minutes and 59 seconds, which was set on the same course three years ago.

Gebrselassie also failed to finish the New York Marathon last year because of an inflamed knee, which resulted in him announcing his retirement - a decision he reversed just a few days later.