Haile Gebrselassie to open the London Marathon Expo

By (Follow on Twitter @ athleticsafrica)

Distance running legend Haile Gebrselassie will open the 2014 Virgin Money London Marathon Expo at London Dockland’s Excel Exhibition Centre at 11am on Wednesday April 9, 2014.

, widely regarded as the greatest distance runner of all time, will run as a pacemaker for the elite men’s race on Sunday April 13, in which Britain’s double Olympic and world champion Mo Farah will take on the world marathon record holder , the world and Olympic marathon champion , and the reigning London Marathon champion, .

The Ethiopian won two Olympic and four world 10,000m titles during his track career before moving to the roads where he broke the marathon world record twice, becoming the first man in history to run 26.2 miles in under 2 hours 4 minutes.

Now 40, Gebrselassie has set 27 world records during his long career. He holds the current track world records for one hour and 20,000 metres.

His achievements will be officially recognised by Guinness World Records at 12:00 on the Expo stage when Craig Glenday, editor in chief of the Guinness World Record book, presents him with a certificate for the ‘Fastest run 20,000 metres’.

Around 36,000 runners are expected to visit the Excel Exhibition Centre to register for the 2014 Virgin Money London Marathon before the Expo closes at 5pm on Saturday, April 12.

Runners will pick up their race numbers and Ipico Sports Timing Tags, and visit numerous stalls, displays and exhibitions dedicated to marathon running. Some 70,000 people visit the London Marathon exhibition each year, and this year’s Expo is expected to be the biggest ever.

Visitors will be able to wander around the many exhibitors’ stands, including all the major running brands, many charities and international races, numerous athletics magazines, and a vast range of health and fitness products and services.

There will be top advice available at the Virgin Money London Marathon Lounge where there’s a full programme of presentations and high-energy entertainment scheduled.

Expert speakers lined up for the Expo include marathon coach Martin Yelling, while a number of the London Marathon’s elite runners will be interviewed on stage.