Sunday, August 05, 2007

Class Acts

This morning Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia won the New York City Half Marathon (thats 13.1 miles for the non track fans out there) in a time of 59 minutes and 24 seconds, easily beating American 10,000 meter national champ Abdi Abdirahman by more than a minute. I've always admired Gebrselassie, ever since he won the Olympic 10,000 meter race in the Atlanta Olympics back in 1996. He's a great runner, on a par with all time greats like Paavo Nurmi, Emil Zatopek, Vladimir Kuts, and Lasse Viren as far as career accomplishments go, but that's not the main reason I like him. Throughout the years he's been a fierce competitor on the track, but also a graceful and giving champion off it. Brian Cazeneuve of Sports Illustrated has written a good article that shows both sides of the man, the runner and the person who wants to help his countrymen accomplish things of more lasting import than simply running. I recommend it to those of you who realize that success can be found as much in helping others as in your own individual accomplishments.

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