2012 New Balance Indoor Grand Prix: Mo Farah, running to Londontown, by Larry Eder

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Lagat-Farah-Rupp-World11.JPGGalen Rupp, Mo Farah, Bernard Lagat, 2011 WC 5,000m, photo by PhotoRun.net

I should have figured it out then. I had just arrived at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Birmingham, England for the AVIVA Birmingham Indoor last February. It is one of my favorite meetings: well run, well executed and Ian Stewart, the meet director, puts amazing fields together. He had planned that the second to last event would be the men's 5,000 meters.

Just before I arrived, Mo Farah had announced that he was training with Galen Rupp under the watchful eye of Alberto Salazar, as part of the Nike Project. The media interest had been huge, and Mo and Galen were relaxing, trying to get over a bit of jet lag and prepare for the 5,000 meters the next night.

Alberto had told us that he was very happy with Galen and Mo's early training. " They are nearly perfect training partners." The next night, Mo Farah and Galen Rupp teamed up to break their countries indoor records for 5,000 meters. Mo Farah broke the thirty one year old record of one Nick Rose (Alberto Salazar was third in that race), and Galen Rupp broke the more recent record of Bernard Lagat (Galen was fourth in that race).

Two weeks later, Mo Farah won a grueling 3,000 meter at the European Indoor. He took the lead and put himself out for all to see, kicking in a tough last 200 meters, to defend his title from Torino.

Farah_MoR1-EuroInd11.jpg Mo Farah, 2011 Euro Indoors, 3,000m, photo by PhotoRun.net

Later in March, in New York, Mo Farah won the NYC Half, setting a new British record, with Galen Rupp a few seconds behind, running a stellar time. Training partners? Heck, these guys were glued at the hip. And, as Martha Stewart had said, time and time again, "that was a good thing."

Thumbnail image for Farah_MoFV_NYCH11.Jpg Mo Farah, 2011 NYRR Half, photo by PhotoRun.net

In June, at the Nike Pre Classic, Mo Farah, in his first 10,000 meters, worked his way through the field, until, just before the last 1,000 meters, Mo took off. Pushing, pushing, and flying around the last 200 meters, Mo Farah not only won the race from an amazing field, he set a new British record and ran the fastest time in the world, 26:46.57!

Farah-Salazar2646-Pre11.JPGMo Farah, Alberto Salazar, 2011 Nike Pre Classic, 10,000m, photo by PhotoRun.net

Alberto Salazar's training program includes weight training, water workouts, Alter-G treadmills, sports nutrition, just about anything an athlete could need. Mo Farah and Galen Rupp trust Alberto and his team, and they focus on their racing and effort to be a world class distance runner. Actually, correct that, their effort is focused on being the best that they can be. For Mo Farah, in 2011 and 2012, his efforts may give him the moniker of the best long distance runner in the world. For Galen, who continues to improve, year by year, his best years are still a few years away. (Scary, when one thinks of Galens' 26:48.00).

In July, Mo Farah took on a stellar 5,000m field and won, setting a new British record and leading Bernard Lagat to an AR. Galen Rupp had been hip checked in the race, sent flying and he did not finish.

At the AVIVA Birmingham GP, Mo Farah won the 5,000 meters, and Galen Rupp, flying over the last 200 meters, took out Imane Merga, the toughest 5,000 meter runner in the world (well, before that race).

The World Champs were tremendous. Mo Farah put it all on the line in the 10,000 meters, taking the silver, as he was caught with a few strides to go. David Bedford, the former world record holder at 10,000 meters and Virgin London founder told me, " If anyone had said that a British kid would medal at the 10,000m eighteen months ago, we would have laughed." Ian Stewart, bronze medalist at the 5,000 meters from 1972, and UK Endurance mentor, told us, " Mo ran an amazing race in the 10,000 meters, he should be proud."

Mo Farah came back in the 5,000 meters, and let nothing to chance. Running a strong pace, and last mile under four minutes, Mo Farah made it tough, running the last 800 metes just over 1:52, and blasting a last 200 meters in 25.9, holding off Bernard Lagat and Imange Merga! Mo Farah had his gold and the UK had a gold and silver medalist in the distances!

Mo Farah will be running on January 28 in Glasgow, Scotland. Then, on February 4, Mo comes to the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix, to run the mile! He has run 4:00.7 indoors and 3:56 outdoors, so just how fast can Mr. Mellow run?

Galen Rupp tells us that Mo Farah is Mr. Mellow. " Nothing riles him. He just relaxes and keeps me focused." When running is done, this dynamic duo do not talk running, there is much more to life, and it is also, perhaps one reason why they get along so well, and both are running so well.

Watch the mile on February 4, 2011, at the Reggie Lewis Center, as Mo Farah, and his training partner, Galen Rupp, line up for an indoor mile. The crowd of five thousand plus will be jumping up and down and the Reggie Lewis Center will be rocking! And just how fast will Mo Farah, who runs so relaxed with the hopes of his great country on his shoulders? Well,
this writer thinks that, with the field being lined up, perhaps Mo and Galen could run indoor PBs. No matter what, it will be a race for the ages!

Merga-Lagat-Gebremeskel-Farah-WorCh11.jpg  2011 WC 5,000 meter final, the final meters....photo by PhotoRun.net





Mo Farah joins the previously announced athletes that include Christian Cantwell, David Oliver, Matthew Centrowitz, Galen Rupp, Bershawn Jackson, Kirani James, Jenny Simpson, Jenn Suhr and Morgan Uceny.

The 17th-annual meet, the second stop in USA Track & Field's Visa Championship Series, begins at 5:00 p.m. on Feb. 4 at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center at Roxbury Community College.  Tickets and meet Information can be found on-line at www.nbindoorgrandprix.com
or by calling 1-877-849-8722.
 
About New Balance
New Balance, headquartered in Boston, MA has the following mission: Demonstrating responsible leadership, we build global brands that athletes are proud to wear, associates are proud to create and communities are proud to host. New Balance employs more than 4000 people around the globe, and in 2009 reported worldwide sales of $1.65 billion. For more information please visit http://www.newbalance.com

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