http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqgAuDyLv4g On Sunday, I was invited to go running with a legendary athlete. Haile Gebrselassie, an elite runner has 2 Olympic Gold medals and 4 World Championship Golds plus a string of silver and bronze wins to his name.
He's won 9 marathons all with times between 2:03:59 and 2:06:52. His wins at at the Berlin marathons in 2007 with 2:04:26 and in 2008 and 2:03:59 both shattered the World Record marathon times.
I actually cannot fathom how he manages to run that fast. Incredible and inspiring.
It was a beautiful sunny blue sky day on Sunday. I rode the bus through London to Piccadilly, got off near Green Park and walked down through St. James's Park to the meeting point arranged by Adidas and their PR team. The spring feeling in the air and the sunshine contributed to making me feel happy, alive and lucky to be there.
I met up with Charley and changed into my Adidas kit, another thing to make this a happy day - who doesn't love new trainers, right?!
After a few warm up drills, Haile arrived and we headed off on our 5 mile route. We ran past Buckingham Palace, into Hyde Park, along the Serpentine, up to Speakers' Corner and back down through St James's Park.
When I say "I went running with Haile Gebrselassie", I do actually mean that we ran together. He may be able to run extraordinarily fast and I, on the other hand cannot, but this wasn't meant to be a race. We chatted as we ran, it was a true honour. I found out he has 9 brothers and sisters, 4 kids of his own, his favourite place in the world to run is his home in Ethiopia and his favourite meal post race is macaroni (no cheese).
He has a HUGE smile. And he loves to smile.
After the run, we stretched and he shared his thoughts on why we run. He said it's so that we can fit everything together in our lives, physically and mentally.
"We run to avoid stress, we sweat for 30 minutes a day and you will find, we can do anything..."
Thank you Haile, Adidas and everyone else who helped to make this happen.