When you run the marathon, you run against the distance, not against the other runners and not against the time.
All athletes need three things: commitment, discipline and hard work. Without that it's hard to keep running.
In the rainy season, sometimes to get to the first lesson we had to run really quick, because we had to cross the river to school and we'd have to go up and down the bank to find a place to cross because there is no bridge.
I'm lucky. The best possible place in the world for training is Addis Ababa, so I am home all the time except when I am racing. I like to be there, near my family, my kids, also the real estate business I run with my wife.
Some people start a sport just to reduce weight, or some say, 'My doctor ordered me to run and do exercise', and for others, they run for completely different benefits. But it is not like that with sport. We need to eat, we need to rest, but also we need to run.
Eradicate poverty. This is all that matters in my country. When I am out training I think about this a lot; when I am running it is going over in my mind. As a country we cannot move forward until we eradicate poverty.
When I run in Ethiopia, I look out and see eucalyptus trees and rivers.
When I had no shoes I was comfortable - I used to run barefoot. When I wore shoes it was difficult. To run in shoes was ok, but at the beginning of my career it was hard.
My school was six miles away from where I lived on the farm. I had to walk and run, there and back every day, through gorges and over rivers. If I was late, there was a very big stick waiting for me.
I used to run to school, 10k every day. And this at altitude, perfect preparation, really.
What can you do if a part of it is uphill? You can't work out another route. You've just got to run the one they give you. But they tell me London is a nice course. Even the cobbles, I hope, are not very much of a problem for me.
I want to avoid injuries by running only road.
At the end of the day, people want to see how fast you run.
I'm retiring from competitive running, not from running. You cannot stop running, this is my life,
I love running and I will always run.
I always tell young athletes the same thing, 'Wherever you go, whatever you do, what must your top priority be? Running.'
If you are a really good marathoner, you have to run New York.
My father didn't think running was sensible. He told me running is just wasting time.
Since I achieved something, running has exploded in my country. For me sometimes it is difficult even to know who the athletes are who are competing at the highest level. There are thousands.
Since I achieved something, running has exploded in my country.
This is what I wanted. They tell me that London is the best field in history. I wanted to be part of that. Because everyone will be there it will be a wonderful challenge for me. You can see the best runners, how they look, how they run. For me to beat the best is what counts.
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