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Haile Gebrselassie Coming to Detroit for Free Press/Flagstar Marathon
Date:10/8/2007

Visit prompted by involvement in Detroit-based Ethiopian aid organization

DETROIT, Oct. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Marathon world record holder Haile Gebrselassie will be in Detroit the weekend of October 20-21 in a visit that coincides with the Detroit Free Press/ Flagstar Marathon.

Gebrselassie will be in Detroit to support a dinner raising funds for the Ethiopian North American Health Professionals Association (ENAHPA), an organization founded by Detroit cardiac physician Dr. Ingida Asfaw, dedicated to alleviating the severe health care crisis in Ethiopia.

Gebrselassie broke the existing world record by 29 seconds September 23rd when he ran the Berlin Marathon in 2 hours, 4 minutes and 26 seconds. Race organizers said Gebrselassie has indicated that he will start the Marathon and run a portion of the route, but that he has not yet decided whether he will complete the entire 26.2 miles. The Berlin Marathon is his 23rd race in distances ranging from two miles to a marathon.

"We are moved and inspired by his level of commitment. As far as I know, no other athlete has ever been willing to make such a public statement," said Marathon Director Patricia Ball. "We are excited to have Haile participate in the Marathon; we've never had anyone of this magnitude to participate in the race before."

ENAHPA has sponsored 10 medical missions to Ethiopia since 2001, assembling a small army of medical professionals and volunteers who donate their time and talents to provide free surgical and medical care to Ethiopian citizens. Gebrselassie is an honorary chair of ENAHPA's Faces of Ethiopia Inaugural Dinner and will attend the event, held on October 20, at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center. Proceeds from the dinner will help fund future missions and provide a wide range of health and human services programs for Ethiopia.

"Having the world record holder in the marathon with us for the 30th annual Detroit Free Press/Flagstar Marathon w
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SOURCE Ethiopian North American Health Professionals Association
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
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