Bekele and his camp billed the race as a world record attempt, saying that he planned on coming through halfway in 61 minutes. (His 61:11 en route to a 2:03:03 in Berlin remains the fastest halfway split ever.) But Bekele suffered from a fall almost immediately after the starting gun fired and was unable to complete the race due to his injuries.
Though his stride looked uninhibited, Bekele was grabbing at his left side for most of the race. It's the second time in three years that Bekele has dropped out in Dubai; he stepped off the course 19 miles into the race in 2015.
In nearly the saddest scene possible, the 34-year-old 10K and 5K world record holder was last spotted trudging over to catch a cab back to the the finish.
Bekele is scheduled to race the London Marathon in April.