We are finally into the first out-and-out athlete for this column, and after last weekend it feels appropriate to be one of the biggest heroes in the country – owner of fairly unique celebratory stance and someone who everyone feels they could be mates with – the great Mo Farah.
Not content with being one of the stars of the 2012 Olympics and winner of however many races since, Sunday saw Mo’s first attempt at the London Marathon. He finished a very credible 8th place against a very experienced field, in 2.08 hours which is marginally faster than I completed the Birmingham (half) Marathon last October!
After years of having some slightly unexciting long distance runners in the UK, most of whom hark back to the 80’s and could hardly be called inspiring for today’s generation, it is great to have Mo now leading the way, and I really hope we will now see more exciting young runners breaking through in years to come. If Mo does stay with the longer distance racing then even better, as you would fully expect him to take the British record before too long, and with the Commonwealth Games coming up this year, and who knows by the time of the Brazil Olympics.
I can certainly say Mo has inspired me personally, as someone who until the last Olympics had never run a 10k before (and definitely straight after a swim & bike race) by helping put a bit of joy into running and making it an exciting sport – whilst in the past I used to change the channel when the 10,000m races came on, they are now a highlight for me, which in turn reflects in my training. So here is to another great year of watching Mo win, and sharing his genuine enjoyment of winning with us, and also to me breaking his 2.08 in my race later this year…!