Mo Farah to run half of 2013 Virgin London Marathon
18 February 2013
Double Olympic Champion Mo Farah will join a stellar line-up on 21 April when he will run half of the 2013 Virgin London Marathon in preparation for his full marathon debut next year.
The Olympic 5000m and 10,000m champion has agreed that his first outing over the full 26.2 mile distance will be at the 2014 London Marathon but he will run half the distance this April to familiarise himself with the event’s routine and course.
The decision to prepare so thoroughly for the distance comes as no surprise given his coach Alberto Salazar’s reputation for attention to detail and the inclusion of the Olympic hero in the field will no doubt do wonders to inspire even more Brits to take up running.
He will start with the elite men’s field and run to half way alongside some of the world’s best marathoners such as world record holder Patrick Makau, Olympic champion Stephen Kiprotich and world champion Abel Kirui. The line-up contains six of the 10 quickest men of all time, and four previous London Marathon winners, including reigning London champion Wilson Kipsang and course record holder Emmanuel Mutai.
It will not be his first outing on a segment of the London Marathon course however, as he enjoyed victories as a prodigious young talent when he won the London Mini Marathon three years in a row as a schoolboy between 1998 and 2000.
The London Marathon, in partnership with UKA and England Athletics, has supported Mo through its funding of the endurance programme at St Mary’s University College where Mo was a student and the High Altitude Training Centre in Iten, Kenya, where he trains alongside many other British endurance runners.
Mo said: “As a young boy growing up in London it has always been my ambition to run the London Marathon. I won the Mini Marathon when I was younger and have watched the race every year for as long as I can remember.
“I will make my marathon debut in the 2014 London Marathon but will run the 2013 race to half way as part of my preparation for 2014. It will allow me to understand the course and the systems I will need when I run the full distance.
“To run as the double Olympic champion makes it even more special. Dave Bedford and the London Marathon have always been there for me and it will be my pleasure to run my first marathon in London.”
Farah already has considerable experience on the roads. He holds the national record for 10km and has won the Bupa London 10,000 four years in a row. He made his half marathon debut in 2011 when he won the New York City half marathon in 60:23, another British record.
London Marathon race director Hugh Brasher welcomed Farah’s decision to join the 2013 race.
“We are delighted that Mo wants to run with our elite runners this year,” said Brasher. “We have been following and supporting Mo’s career since he first won the Mini London Marathon 15 years ago and are full of anticipation for his marathon debut in 2014.
“Hopefully, his experience of the race, the route and the unique atmosphere of the London Marathon will stand him in good stead when he takes on the full race next year. We are sure he will gain some valuable insights and come back fully prepared for the challenge.”
If you're doing the 2013 Virgin London Marathon, why not join Run England for free at runengland.org/signup and receive a voucher for £15 off Sweatshop running shoes. You can also find your nearest group at runengland.org/groups for all the motivation and support you need as your prepare for the big day!
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