His six-mile time in Glasgow survived as a world best for 26 years.
Gebrselassie, Ethiopia's durable Little Emperor, has set 27 world bests and won 13 World and Olympic titles, but at 40, he races in Scotland for the first time. "Nobody ever asked me before," he told Brendan Foster, chairman of the promoting company, Nova International.
It is the Geordie's influence which has ensured Haile's smiling presence in the highest quality Glasgow field ever. His company has revitalised the event, taking it beyond previous entry figures. Just short of 30,000 people had registered by yesterday, up almost 6000 on last year.
BBC are screening the race across the UK - another first. It is doubtful if this could have been achieved without the influence of Foster as the UK's leading road racing commentator.
The former European and Commonwealth champion promised that his company's connections could deliver heightened profile and entry, and he has done so. However, in an exclusive Herald interview yesterday he revealed that he perceives this merely as a start. | He has ambitious plans to develop the event further. He envisages a series of street races, to be introduced in 2015. It would bring international athletics to a new public, as has been done in his company's events in Manchester and Newcastle.
Nova brought multiple world record-holder and Olympic champion Usain Bolt, plus World champions Tyson Gay and Allyson Felix, to Manchester for their Great City Games, while double Olympic champion Mo Farah has been the star attraction at the Great North City Games on Newcastle's Quayside. Olympic women's hurdles champion Sally Pearson raced there this year, and there was a match-up in the 110m hurdles between Olympic Champion Aries Merritt and World champion David Oliver, plus a Paralympic rematch between the London 2012 100m gold and silver medallists, Jonnie Peacock and Richard Browne. None of these athletes, with the exception of Farah (indoors) has competed in Scotland.
"We are working on plans to establish street athletics in London next year, and Glasgow the year after," said Foster. "That's already on the agenda. But there is no reason at all why the Great Scottish Run cannot be as big as the Great North Run."
The Newcastle to South Shields half marathon attracted 56,000 entries this year.
"We hope to take the City Games into London next year - it's not fixed yet - and we are looking to take it into Glasgow. We have already spoken to Glasgow Council. After 2014, you have to keep the impetus going, and they are very well aware of that. George Square has just been done out - you could not get a better venue than that, but it's very early stages.
"We are delighted to have increased the entry and that it will be televised across the whole country, which is a first. And to have the greatest endurance runner ever in Glasgow is a great start. But it is only a start. There are plenty places to go. People in the rest of the country need to see the modern Glasgow in all its glory, and the people of Glasgow responding to it. The enthusiasm of the city has already been demonstrated."
He said colleagues in his office have been "ecstatic" to have got tickets for Glasgow 2014. "They applied in the ballot and got them. That's a big turn around. When the Commonwealths were in Edinburgh, it wasn't that difficult to get tickets. People were not so excited to get tickets."
The young Foster snatched the 1500m bronze at the Friendly Games in 1970, denying Scotland's Peter Stewart by just one hundredth of a second. Three years later he became the first British athlete to hold the two-mile world best since Shrubb's Ibrox effort, 69 years earlier. "I am looking forward to telling Haile about Shrubb," says Foster. "Shrubb was also the first world record-holder at the one-hour run [also at Ibrox] and Haile is the current record-holder."
But a fine grasp of athletics history has not blinded him to the future.
"It is the people of the region who make this Glasgow race work, but this year, 10% of the runners are from outside Scotland - over 3000 of them are from the south. We've promoted Glasgow in our other events. 'We've just done the Great North Run, or the Great Manchester - why don't we do the Great Scottish Run?' That's worked well and we are very happy with that. But it is just a start. We are going to promote the event in America, say: 'Why not make this your event of choice, and come back to Scotland and do the run?'
"We are only tapping into the English market, but there is a massive market we'd like to tap into on the Continent and the US."
He is aware of the Scottish diaspora, particularly in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. "We'll take guidance on that," he adds.
"The American one is quite easy, because we are at some of their events. This is Scotland's biggest run, and we want to make it into Scotland's biggest event.
"The Commonwealth Games is a fantastic hook. Before the Commonwealth Games we've got a record entry and after the Games next year, we want another record entry. It's a fantastic catalyst."