London Marathon: Tergat's absence gives Gebrselassie golden chance for first win

The 33-year-old Ethiopian, now concentrating on the roads after a track career that has earned him a fistful of gold medals and world records, has been an ebullient figure in the race hotel this week. With Tergat missing, Gebrselassie has the perfect opportunity to claim his first London title after an ideal period of preparation.

He set a world record of 58min 55sec for the half-marathon in Phoenix in January, and last month he claimed a world record for 25 kilometres in the Netherlands, recording 1hr 11min 37sec.

Although other dangerous runners remain - notably Kenya's defending champion Martin Lel, his fellow countryman Evans Rutto, Morocco's Jauad Gharib and the former world record-holder, Khalid Khannouchi of the United States - Gebrselassie can afford to be confident as he utilises the experience gained on this course in making his marathon debut in 2002.

On that occasion, he finished third behind Khannouchi and Tergat, despite a superb time of 2hr 6min 35sec.

"In 2002 I ended up being the pacemaker for almost 40km," he said. "That won't happen this time. I will treat it more like a championship. I was very new at marathon running then and to be honest I thought it would be easy. So I ran faster and faster and, of course, at the end, I was very tired.

"42km is a long way. You never know what can happen. I have learned to be patient. Also, in 2002 I made the mistake of only drinking water, but this year I will be taking carbohydrate drinks. I've learned that when you run marathons it's not like running the 5,000m or the 10,000m. It needs attention."

That is a lesson that resonates through the whole event and James Cracknell, recently back from his transatlantic row, will be running his first marathon alongside his colleagues from the triumphant Olympic rowing four of 2000, Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Matthew Pinsent.

Paula Radcliffe's foot injury has prevented her making an early impact in the two-year World Marathon Majors series, which began with this month's Boston Marathon and offers the best male and female runners $500,000 (£280,000) each.

The women's race looks a close call between the pair who contested the recent Chicago race, Deena Kastor of the United States and Romania's Constantina Tomescu-Dita, although Kenya's 2004 winner Margaret Okayo could beat both if her back injury allows.

Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
tech
News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
books(and not a Buzzfeed article in sight)
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Mystery man: Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike in '‘Gone Girl'
films... by the director David Fincher
News
Kim Jong Un gives field guidance during his inspection of the Korean People's Army (KPA) Naval Unit 167
newsSouth Korean reports suggest rumours of a coup were unfounded
News
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Life and Style
stoptober... when the patch, gum and cold turkey had all faied
Travel
Bruce Chatwin's novel 'On the Black Hill' was set at The Vision Farm
travelOne of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
Arts and Entertainment
Gay and OK: a scene from 'Pride'
filmsUS film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
News
people
Life and Style
Magic roundabouts: the gyratory system that has excited enthusiasts in Swindon
motoringJust who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Welsh Year 6 Teacher required in Barry

£100 - £110 per day + Plus travel scheme: Randstad Education Cardiff: The Job:...

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Welsh Teacher Year 2 required in Caerphilly

£100 - £105 per day + plus Travel Scheme: Randstad Education Cardiff: The Job:...

Year 4 Teacher

£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Would you like to work in ...

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?