Mo Farah after Cardiff: "Road racing is different, the track is mine!" by Cathal Dennehy


So, far in 2016, Mo Farah has had a cross country race, a 3,000 meter indoor track race, and a half marathon road race. In the half marathon, Mo finished third.

Here is his interview with Cathal Dennehy, for RunBlogRun, after his run in Cardiff. Note the Brit's resolve.

Looks like Rio is going to be quite exciting.

Farah_Mo1d-WorldHalf16.jpgMo Farah, photo by

Shortly after finishing third in the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships last weekend, Mo Farah sat in a lecture hall at Cardiff University - wrapped in a blanket, cup of tea in hand - and explained to his nation's media how despite losing the battle, he would inevitably win the war.

Farah had just been trounced by Kenya's Geoffrey Kamworor in a 13.1-mile slog around the damp streets of Cardiff, running 59:59 to Kamworor's 59:10, a result made all the more difficult to stomach given the manner of defeat.

On Easter weekend, Kamworor fell in the first few steps, got buried beneath a sea of runners from the mass participation event, before rising again, his ensuing destruction of his rivals a performance somewhere between miraculous and divine.

Farah was asked afterwards whether he was worried about Kamwowor landing such an important psychological blow less than five months out from their inevitable rematch in the 10,000m at the Olympics.

"He can't beat me in the 10K," said Farah. "He can beat me, but I'm not going to let him do that."

It's been Farah's modus operandi on the track at every global championship since 2011: cover every important move early in the race, get to the front on the last lap, and use his incomparable finishing speed to power away thereafter.

However he is now at an age, 33, where decline must soon be looming on the horizon, and Farah is aware his rivals will be sniffing blood in Rio having landed some flesh wounds in Cardiff.

"It's going to be a lot harder," he said. "I'm older and it's going to be a stronger field. The guys have seen me the last four years, seen what I've been doing. It gets a little bit harder."

Last weekend's race in Cardiff, the latter part of which was run in torrential rain, gave Farah a good idea of just how hard it will be.

With eventual runner-up Bedan Karoki doing much of the early running, the Kenyans charged through 10K in 27:59, which already had the Briton sending out distress signals. "The guys went for it from the beginning," said Farah. "I thought: there's no way I can keep this pace going."

At that point, Farah had already fallen five seconds behind the leaders, and it was a gap that continued to grow as Kamworor stamped his class over the closing miles. However it is a measure of Farah's resolve - and the competitive demons which have driven him to such heights - that he fought, struggled and clawed his way up to third place by the finish.

There was measured disappointment in his words afterwards, an acceptance that he hadn't tried to peak for this event. "I was in personal best shape," he said, "but for sure you don't want to get too fit and be in amazing world record shape [at this time of year]. It would have been nice to win and do a fast time, but this is what I am now, so how do I work towards Rio? What do I need to do?"

You get the impression Farah, much like his coach Alberto Salazar, knows exactly what he needs to do over the next months to climb two steps higher on the podium at the Olympics, and his plans are already in place.

"The 10K is 25 laps around a track, so they're probably going to do a similar thing and go from the start. I have to be ready for under 26:40 if I want to medal; it's not rocket science.

"Training hasn't been as smooth as I wanted, but it's good to get hiccups now rather than ahead of Rio. Right now I just need to go home, have a little break, spend a bit of time with the family for a couple of weeks, then get on my training camp in Flagstaff."

Farah's first major track race will be over either 5000m or 10,000m at the Prefontaine Classic in May, when he hopes to make Cardiff a distant memory and strike back at Kamworor.

"The book's closed now," he said. "It's all about Rio. I want to defend my title."

To do so, he will have to work out a way of putting an abrupt end to Kamworor's seemingly inevitable rise to his throne and his attempt to overthrow Farah as the best distance runner in the world. Farah, though, knows that when the pair meet back on his terrain, he still holds all the aces.

"The half marathon, marathon, road races - it's different," he said. "The track is mine."

Leave a comment

Wake up to RunBlogRun's news in your inbox. Sign up for our newsletter and we'll keep you informed about the Sport you love.

Subscribe to RunBlogRun's Global News Feed

* indicates required