Haile Gebrselassie was at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Center in Athens on Friday (November 11) night to receive a Lifetime Achievement award from the International Association of Marathons and Road Races (AIMS).
Yesterday he flew to Zurich, where he spent the afternoon at a Local Heroes fundraising event supporting the schools he has set up back in his native Ethiopia - to which he is due to return today.
A typically busy weekend in the life of the man whom many regard as the greatest distance runner the world has ever seen. Not that his week is likely to be any less demanding as he begins to assess the latest task he has taken on following his election last weekend as President of the Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF).
It is a task he will approach with the methodical thoughtfulness that has characterised so much of what he has done on and off the track in a lifetime that has already been celebrated on film by the 1999 docu-drama Endurance.
But if endurance is a large part of Gebrselassie’s achievements, one of the hardest won elements, in his own estimation, is the similar but particular virtue of patience.
At 43, he says his biggest challenge since he retired from competition on May 10 last year has been working in a team and not being able to set personal goals.
"What I learnt is patience," he maintains. "A marathon is like two hours-plus of running. The 10,000 metres is less than 30 minutes. The same thing when I switch from running to business - I learn more patience."
Five months ago Gebrselassie was among around 100 protesters who descended on the EAF offices to protest about a number of issues including the federation’s Rio 2016 selection policy. As he takes his new place in those self-same offices he will be taking a markedly more measured approach - although the urge to improve and renew remains as strong.
Gebrselassie was elected for a four-year term after receiving nine of the 15 votes in a ballot of Ethiopia's regional athletics leaders. He beat two other candidates, with incumbent EAF President Alebachew Nigusse not standing for re-election.
Last week the double Olympic champion and multiple world record holder paid his first official visit to the EAF as President to get those famous pattering feet under the table.
"I went into the office to meet the people I will be working with and talk to them about their experiences over the last few years," he said.
"I am just beginning to realise how big a job this is - it is going to take a lot of my time and attention."
At this early stage in his incumbency much of the detail of his forthcoming efforts has still to be worked out.
Gebrselassie said after his election that he hoped "to bring Ethiopian athletics to a higher level", adding: "Athletics changed my life completely and I am thankful for that.
"I have gained a lot of experience throughout my athletics career and now it is time to give back to my country and sport."
One of the key areas for the new President will be the addressing of doubts which have arisen in recent months over Ethiopia’s anti-doping efforts.
In March, Ethiopia was among five nations, also including Kenya, designated by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) as being in "critical care" with regard to doping issues. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) warned the countries' authorities that they needed to strengthen their anti-doping programmes.
The Ethiopian authorities responded with an announcement that tests would be carried out on up to 200 athletes and the EAF subsequently suspended six on suspicion of doping, two of whom - Taemo Shumye and Sentayehu Merga - were later banned for four years.
"Our country's name has been mentioned alongside other countries for doping," Gebrselassie told AP. "One of my first jobs if I get elected is to make sure that athletes could win without doping by showing them that I'm a living proof.
"Instead of challenging WADA and other anti-doping agencies, we have to be able to admit that we have a problem and then work hard to address it. I believe that Ethiopia's doping problem is not deep. But certainly there are signs."
The traditional rivalry between Ethiopian and Kenyan runners has tipped the way of the latter nation in recent years - Kenya won six athletics golds at the Rio Games to Ethiopia’s one, contributed by Almaz Ayana’s world record run in the women’s 10,000m that lowered the previous mark by more than 14 seconds.
"The state of athletics in Ethiopia is not on the right track so I don't want to sit idle and watch it turn into ruins," Gebrselassie said.
"Ethiopia's athletics potential is probably four times bigger than our neighbour Kenya. Our main problem is that we haven't had a leadership that could bring out and nurture that talent."
There has been a long history of discord in Ethiopia between the athletes and the administration responsible for them. The most recent example - the decision not to pick the 34-year-old three-times Olympic champion Kenenisa Bekele for the Rio 2016 marathon - proved the catalyst which energised the protest march of athletes and ex-athletes including Gebrselassie to the EAF HQ.
Bekele called the decision "unjust" and criticised the EAF for their "biased" selection criteria, adding: "The federation set a criteria they knew very well would rule me out."
Gebrselassie said during the protest that he could not understand the decision not to take one of Ethiopia’s best distance runners to the Games.
"As you know Kenenisa is a well-experienced athlete," he told ANA.
"He knows how to handle pressure and he knows how to win a race."
Ethiopia did win silver in the men’s marathon thanks to Feyisa Lilesa, but after finishing with arms crossed to register solidarity with his fellow citizens in the Oromia district - which was the scene of punitive action during anti-Government protests in the summer - he did not feel secure in returning to his home country and is currently in the United States.
Bekele, however, underlined his unrealised Rio potential by winning the Berlin Marathon on September 25 in 2 hours 3min 3sec, the second fastest time ever run.
One early innovation which Gebrselassie - who was born 175 kilometres from Addis Ababa in Asella, within the troubled region of Oromia - is keen to see is a change in the current obligation for athletes wishing to further their careers to live and train in the capital.
"One of the first things I want to do is to help establish and strengthen regional centres so that athletes will not have to move to live and train in Addis Ababa as they now do to become part of the national set-up," he told insidethegames.
Gebrelassie’s election was greeted with enthusiasm by the IAAF President, Sebastian Coe, who tweeted in the wake of the announcement: "Congratulations my friend. Looking forward to working with you".
Coe expanded on his enthusiasm in an interview with Kenya-based Citizen.co.ke, pointing out that the arrival of a man with 27 world records to his credit conformed perfectly to one of the four "pillars" of reform he had recently announced for the IAAF which sought to encourage former athletes to lead the sport into the future.
"What federation anywhere in the world would not want somebody with the athletics credentials and someone who has gone on to achieve outside the sport?," Coe said. "Who would not want that help, that expertise and that guidance within their federation?
"It is important for athletes to play a pivotal role in federations, a pivotal role in the IAAF and a pivotal role in our sport and yes, the more athletes we can get into the areas of administration, the better.
"Being a former competitor is not in itself enough but it does lend an athlete’s eye to so many decisions that have to be made that will affect the athletes. The more athletes we can get into positions of seniority in our sport, the better and that’s what my reforms are aimed at."
Coe also offered encouragement to current and retired Kenyan athletes who took protest action last November against their own home federation, Athletics Kenya, following allegations of corruption against officials.
"We must make sure the people coming to our sport are the right people," Coe added.
"Those who have spent many years supporting passionately the concept and philosophy of our sport, understanding their background and understanding the nature of conflict as well."
Also welcoming of the new EAF President was Kenya’s former world marathon record holder Wilson Kipsang, whose Twitter message - "Big congrats to my friend who was elected today as President of the EAF" - was retweeted by Gebrselassie.
Kipsang, and world 400m hurdles champion Nicholas Bett, were among leading Kenyan athletes involved in last year’s protests against Athletics Kenya.
Despite the rivalry on the track, it seems there could be greater future accord between Ethiopia and Kenya at federation level.
Meanwhile, Gebrselassie can call upon another former team-mate to work with him on raising the Ethiopian athletics standards - Sileshi Sihine, who took Olympic 10,000m silver behind Bekele in 2004 and 2008.
Sihine - whose wedding to triple Olympic champion Tirunesh Dibaba was broadcast live on Ethiopian TV - was elected President of the newly formed Ethiopian Athletes’ Association (EAA) in February of last year.
The EAA vice-president is double Olympic 5,000m champion Meseret Defar and the secretary is 2015 world marathon silver medallist Yemane Tsegaye.
Gebrselassie’s acceptance of his Lifetime Achievement Trophy at the AIMS and Greek Athletics Federation Gala in Athens was the crowning moment in an evening which also witnessed awards to Kenya’s Rio 2016 Olympic champions Eliud Kipchoge and Jemima Sumgong.
"I am so proud tonight to get this trophy and I want to thank you all for choosing me," Gebrselassie said. "I am really, really happy tonight.
"I am very grateful to receive this honour and that it should be in Greece, the birth place of the marathon."
Gebrselassie was speaking ahead of today’s 34th edition of the "Athens Marathon - The Authentic", which is being held on the original course used at the first modern Games of 1896, starting in the small coastal town of Marathon and finishing in the Panathinaic Stadium.
The silver trophy by Michel Breal which home runner Spiridon Louis was awarded after his victory in that first Olympic marathon was bought by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation four years ago and is now on display at the Center.
Gebrselassie's own enduring contribution to marathon running since he made his debut in London 14 years ago exists primarily in the two world records he set - 2:04.26 at the 2007 Berlin Marathon, followed a year later on the same course by a first sub 2:04 time, 2:03.59.
Even before that second landmark achievement, Coe told CNN News that he felt Gebrselassie was the best distance runner ever.
"Haile is the greatest distance runner as far as I'm concerned - of all time," Coe said. "Comparisons will be made with Emil Zatopek, Vlaimir Kuts, Paavo Nurmi, Ron Clarke from Australia, but Haile is the most talented of them all by a distance."
Asked about Gebrselassie’s mindset, Coe responded: "Very difficult to answer because I see Haile and I know he can be a perfectly nice man, very open, friendly and social, but he also has the mentality, when it matters, of a killer!
"He is a charming person. He is very open, very rounded, he understands that what he does comes with quite a big responsibility…
"He is the most visible, tangible evidence of somebody who has maintained humility. He is somebody who has understood that they have a responsibility to sport. It is almost impossible to explain how he is viewed in Ethiopia…
"I am just delighted that his career is still going into areas that I think even his greatest fans thought unlikely two to three years ago."
That phenomenal career shows no sign of dwindling - and Ethiopian athletics will surely be the better for it.