Mo Farah, A Day in the Life, April 2013, photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images/IAAF
Birmingham, UK. February 21, 2015
In a classic way to end a sporting event, Mo Farah broke his first World record on home soil, in front of his home crowd. ” It is nice to do it on home soil! I love to represent my country. That drives me as an athlete to have my nation behind me. The half marathon will be different. What drives me is getting results like this! ”
Mo Farah hit the 800 meters in 2:00.0, then the mile in 4:03.9. By 2000 meters hit in near 5:04, Mo Farah was on his own, racing for his first world record. It was a gutty, gritty effort, as Farah ran 3:59.5 for the final 1600 meters, and hit 8:03.40 for a new WR for two miles, breaking the former mark of Kenenisa Bekele of 8:04.35.
Did it hurt? Of course it did. As Mo was entering the center of the track, after the race, to do a post race interview with Katharine Merry, he threw up a couple of times.
Tough efforts require work, and we sometimes forget that fact.
Congrats to Mo Farah on his first WR and his next event is a half marathon in Lisbon in March!
Our sport is quite simple. Get to the start line, run the required number of laps faster than the other bloke, and you will win.
Mo Farah raced in September 2014 over the half marathon distance at the Great North Run. That was his last race. Since then, he has been in Portland, Oregon, Great Britain and for the past seven weeks in Ethiopia.
Over the past several days, Mo Farah not only dealt with jet lap, but a curious world press and social media brouhaha between Andy Vernon and Mr. Farah. On Friday at the press conference, Mo took the high road, noting that he should not have responded to Andy Vernon, but due to their history, and a comment that Vernon had made in Zurich after the 10,000m Europeans, Mo, being human, responded.
Andy Vernon first claimed he did not say the alleged comments in Zurich, then did the proverbial, they were taken out of context. Saying that one deserved the gold medal in the 10,000 meters as they were the first European born finisher is, one side, pretty xenophobic, on another, perhaps racist, and the least, pretty stupid. “Mo Farah is a Brit through and through. ” noted one keen observer after another to me.
The twitter world came down on Mr. Vernon. Perhaps he will think before he tweets in the future.
Then, all Mo Farah had to do was focus on breaking a two mile WR that is pretty tough. Kenenisa Bekele had the WR for two miles, 5,000m and 10,000m. His 8:04.35 for two miles being pretty spectacular. Anyone who has seen Bekele on the indoor track at NIA, and I have, was impressed with his form and his absolute strength.
Mo Farah expressed confidence in his form yesterday at the presser. By Saturday morning, most were wondering if he could break his PB. I had told someone half heartedly, perhaps an 8:20.
Boy, did I blow it!
Hitting the 800 meters in 2:00.00, and the mile in 4:03.9. DAle Clutteruck paced through the mile and Paul Koech took the leaders through 2000m in 5:03, which was where Mo Farah really took off!
Mo Farah did not show his speed, but the intense drive and strength he has to run the last mile in 3:59.5, and take Kenenisa Bekele’s WR off the record books and add Farah’s name to the list of greats who have raced sixteen laps indoors. From Paavo Nurmi to Mo Farah, all of the greats have run two miles. Nurmi was the first to break nine minutes for two miles, and now, 82 years later, Mo Farah runs nearly a minute faster, 8:03.40 to be exact.
The former meet director for British Athletics, Ian Stewart once told me, that to really remind people of how great athletics can be, he always liked to end the meet with a great race!
Spencer Barden, British Athletics meet consultant, did a fine job and remembered that lesson from his former manager.
The Mo Farah world record was the perfect way to end a meeting in Birmingham!