Farah targets fifth Bupa London title


Mo Farah will target his fifth straight victory at the 2013 Bupa London 10,000 road race on Bank Holiday Monday, 27 May, when he headlines a field containing some of Britain’s finest distance runners.

The double Olympic champion has been an ever-present at this 10km central London road event since it started in 2008. After finishing third in the inaugural race, he has dominated ever since, winning four in a row and notching up British records in 2009 and 2010. His winning time three years ago of 27 minutes 44 seconds remains the men’s course record.

Last year he chose to cruise home in a relatively modest 29:21 as he geared up for a glorious summer which climaxed at the Olympic Games last August when he won gold at 5000m and 10,000m.

This year’s race is the third in the runbritain Grand Prix series and will give the poster boy of British distance running a chance to assess his form and fitness ahead of the IAAF World Championships in Moscow where he hopes to retain his 5000m title and add the world 10,000m crown to his growing collection of honours.

Farah’s main threat will come from fellow-Briton and former training partner Scott Overall. Overall was runner-up behind Farah last year in 29:26 just a couple of months before he represented Team GB over the same central London course in the Olympic marathon last August.

The Blackheath and Bromley athlete finished 61st at the Games and dropped out of this year’s Virgin London Marathon after 25km with a knee injury. But he was in good form earlier in the year when he retained the adidas half marathon title at Silverstone. If Overall has returned to fitness his 10km PB of 28:49 could come under threat.

British international Amy Whitehead leads the women’s field on her Bupa London 10,000 debut. The 34-year-old Sale Harrier was 13th in the 2013 Virgin London Marathon last month, the second Briton home behind Susan Partridge.

Once a junior cross country international snapping at Paula Radcliffe’s heels, Whitehead emerged from an enforced break due to injuries, motherhood and teaching to smash her marathon best at the 2011 London Marathon despite setting off from the mass start.

It has been a long road back for Whitehead who was 15th at the World Cross Country Championships in 1999 before enduring three stress fractures. She quit running to start a career as an English and drama teacher and only returned to action after giving birth to her daughter, Holly, in 2009.

This is her first appearance at the Bupa London 10,000 but she was third over 10km in Brighton last November when she set her PB of 33:48.

Whitehead will line up against Steph Twell, another athlete who’s faced injury troubles in recent years.

The former world junior 1500m champion won the European junior cross country title three times between 2006 and 2008. She was also a member of Britain’s Beijing 2008 Olympic team, but a fractured ankle in 2011 and a further foot injury in June last year ended her hopes of competing at London 2012.

Twell will make her Bupa London 10,000 debut just 24 hours after competing in the Westminster Mile. The Scot has a 10km road PB of 32:35 so should be considered a real contender for the women’s title.

Alongside the elites will be teams of up to six runners from UK clubs competing for places in the UK 10km championship race, with the cumulative times of the first three finishers counting towards the team prize.

Behind them all will be some 10,000 fun runners, celebrities and charity fund raisers looking for lifetime bests and personal satisfaction on the roads where the world’s best marathon runners raced for Olympic glory just 10 months ago.

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