Meet An Elite: Gebre Gebremariam

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Now that it's cool to care about the Boston Marathon again, Fittish would like to familiarize you with the runners at the front of the pack. Today's elite: Gebre Gebremariam.


Name: Gebregziabher "Gebre" Gebremariam

Country: Ethiopia

So This Is Obviously That Guy They Call "Geb"?: No, you're thinking of the great Haile Gebrselassie.

Oh Yeah, He's The One Who Won Silver in the 2012 Olympic 5000m: No, that was Gebremeskal.

Jesus Christ, Why Can't The Ethiopians Just Use Different Names Like The Americans?: You mean like Ryan Hall and Ryan Vail and Ryan Shay?

Touché. How Old Is This Guy?: 29

PR: 2:04:53 (4:46/mile)

Career Highlights (Through Boston 2011):

  • 2002 Junior World Champs 10,000m: Gold Medal
  • 2004 Olympic 5000m: 4th Place; age 19
  • 2009 World XC Champs: Gold Medal
  • 2010 New York Marathon: 1st Place; debut marathon
  • 2011 Boston Marathon: 2:04 (PR); 4th Place

Wow, That's Amazing!: Yeah, well, here's the thing...

Career Highlights (Post-Boston 2011):

  • 2011 World Championship Marathon: DNF
  • 2011 NYC Marathon: 4th Place
  • 2012 Boston Marathon: 12th Place (2:22)
  • 2012 Olympic 10,000m: 8th Place

Ooof.: I know, right.

Likelihood of Victory: Not Great to Low. The good news is that he has an impressive list of victories in shorter road races, and finished third here in Boston last year. The bad news is that a lot of guys who have an impressive list of victories in shorter races make a career of third and fourth place finishes in the marathon. Even worse, most great distance runners only have seven to ten years at the top, and Gebre seems like one of those guys whose clock started ticking as a teenager. He hasn't won a marathon since his surprise debut victory in New York, so there's no reason to think he'll win this.


Predicted Finish: Third or Fourth.

Fun Fact: If you get to the final puzzle on the Ethiopian version of Wheel of Fortune, they spot you "Gebre."