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Endurance“A magnificent story of courage and
  perseverance by a poor African farmer
  son who pushes himself to the limit
to accomplish the ultimate sporting
  achievement, Endurance is a true story
  that will encourage others to believe
  that anything is possible..

BROUGHT UP IN POVERTY IN ETHIOPIA, Haile Gebrselassie fought against the odds and followed his dream to become the greatest runner in history.

Born in Asella, Arsi Province, Ethiopia, Haile was one of ten children and the whole family lived in a large, one-roomed hut known as a tukul. His upbringing was hard; not only did he run the ten kilometres to school and back home again every day, but he also had to help his family with the farm under the critical eye of his father.

Endurance, the film of Haile's life, begins with the young Haile (wonderfully played by Yonas Zergaw) running swiftly to school, barefoot and carrying his books under his arm. Having reached there, if he was late he was caned on the hand.

Endurance charts
the humble beginnings
of a runner whose
magnificent achievement
defies all the odds...”
There was a great community spirit in the village Haile was brought up in. Prayers took place under the Great Tree, where the spirits were asked for protection and abundance. Everyone had to walk three hours a day to fetch water and any tragedy would affect the whole village.

Haile's family would listen to a radio, but only occasionally so as to save batteries. Haile, whose immediate waking thoughts were of running, was able to listen to the Moscow Olympics when Merutse Yefter was competing and the seeds of his dream of the ultimate sporting achievement were sown.

Haile's father wanted his son to use his valuable education to become a judge or a writer; but young Haile is not to be swayed from his path to success. When an opportunity arises for him to go to Addis Ababa to train and to run in the marathon through the city, he is determined to go.

He finds himself competing against so many others with the same dream, but even that does not deter him. He works hard, but manages to find time for romance with Alem.

Endurance follows Haile's unwavering pursuit of Olympic glory and a 10,000-metre final at the Atlanta games of 1996 that is now seen as one of the greatest races in athletics history. The film also benefits from a backdrop of the stunning African countryside and beautiful, haunting music.

From running 20 kilometres a day to and from school to numerous world records, championships and medals, Haile Gebrselassie has been described by Runners' World magazine as "the greatest distance runner of all time".

Haile Gebrselassie's remarkable career and life is celebrated in the classic sports film Endurance. Holder of 27 world records throughout his career, from 5,000 metres to the Marathon, Haile is a true sporting hero and his incredible story is told by veteran documentarian Leslie Woodhead.

Endurance features: Shawanness Gebrselassie; Tedesse Haile; Gebrselassie Bekele; and Alem Tellahun. The Competition Scene is Directed by Bud Greenspan; Music is Composed by John Powell; Director of Photography is Ivan Strasburg BSC; Produced by Edward R Pressman, Terrence Malick and Max Palevsky; and Written and Directed by Leslie Woodhead.

Never before available on UK DVD, the docu-drama Endurance makes its debut, courtesy of Second Sight Films, in time for the Olympics on 9 July 2012. RRP: 15.99 | Running Time: 78 Minutes | Catalogue Number: 2NDVD3233.

"Endurance charts the humble beginnings of a runner whose magnificent achievement defies all the odds" — Maggie Woods, MotorBar

"A miraculous achievement" — Premiere Magazine

"It contrasts the community's material poverty with its spiritual richness and suggests this may be one of the great lessons that Africa has to teach the West" —

"A runner whose triumph must be explained almost entirely from within his own determination" — Roger Ebert