The Ethiopian missed the bonus prize of 1 million dollar on offer for a new record by just 27 seconds yesterday as a blistering early race pace put paid to his efforts. Gebrselassie, who set the world best of 2:04:26 just four months ago, took the title and the richest-ever marathon first prize of 250,000 dollar after running the final 12km out on his own. ''Maybe the other guys were a little too good,'' he smiled, referring to the lightning pace set by the race pacemakers.
At the 10km mark, Gebrselassie was 45 seconds up on his Berlin world record pace and at the halfway stage that advantage had stretched to 61 seconds, giving him a potential finishing time of well under 2.03.
He maintained his world record charge until the 35km mark when he still had 25 seconds in hand. But the Ethiopian's early pace proved costly and in the end the record escaped him by just 27 seconds.