Mo Aiming To Make History In Great North Run

Great Comeback 3

The Great North Run is broadcast on BBC One from 9.30am to 1.30pm, with a highlights show on BBC Two at 6pm.

MO FARAH is excited at the prospect of making Great North Run history as he bids to become the first runner to win three of the iconic half marathons in a row.

Mike McLeod’s two victories in 1981 and 1982 represented the only time a male runner has won back to back Great North Runs before Farah’s wins in 2014 and 2015, but no other runner has completed the treble.

Fresh from his third and fourth Olympic gold medals in Rio, Farah will bring the curtain down on his season and hopes to do so in victorious style.

Farah said: “It’d be nice to make it three. I get so much great support here. It’d be nice to make history. Mentally, I’ve been telling myself after the Olympics – just get through one more race.

“This is the last one – hopefully I can do as well as I can and come away with a win. Dathan [Ritzenhein] has been going pretty well so he’s going to be good competition.

“This is my last race for a while, I’m going to put my feet up with the family, and just enjoy time with the little ones. It’s exciting to have a normal life again.”

The Great North Run, now in its 36th staging, has always been a race close to Farah’s heart, and the 33-year-old is delighted to be back on Tyneside.

He said of the half marathon: “It’s pretty amazing. It’s incredible in terms of atmosphere, the people, as an athlete it’s nice to be able to come back home and run in front of the home crowd and feel that support.

“I promised Brendan Foster that I’d come back and cross that Tyne Bridge in first place – and it has come true. Now, can I make history? That is the question.

“Brazil was brilliant and amazing but it’s nice to be able to come back here and share the excitement back home and give it back to the fans. That’s why I’m here.”

Mo will be the first member of the Farah family over the line on Sunday, and will be joined by wife Tania for the first time in a running event. Mrs Farah is taking part as a fun runner and Mo has been giving his wife hints and tips to get through the run – but some of his advice has fallen on deaf ears.

“Tania’s excited,” said Mo of his wife. “She’s been training reasonably well. I’ve been helping her. We’ll find out on Sunday whether I’ll be in the doghouse or not.

“Mainly I think she has to go and enjoy it. It’s nice to have her experience what I experience. She’ll still do the same course and get the same things out of it.

“I am a taskmaster but I have to take a couple of steps back. Sometimes I think everyone else can do what I can do but they can’t. I’ve been giving her double runs and she’s saying ‘how’s that possible’. Maybe I could have cut back on that. But if you want to run well you have to do that.

How long will I wait for her at the end? I’ll see if she’s having a good day or a bad day.”

The Great North Run is broadcast on BBC One from 9.30am to 1.30pm, with a highlights show on BBC Two at 6pm.