WHILE Sir Mo Farah will be looking to make it five wins in a row when he returns to Tyneside for the Simplyhealth Great North Run, it will not be a foregone conclusion as his competition for the prize has been announced.
The ten-time Olympic and world champion became the first runner to win four consecutive times when he beat Jake Robertson on the iconic 13.1 mile course last year – and victory on Sunday will put him clear at the top of the roll of honour in the event’s history.
New Zealand record holder Robertson marked his second-placed finish a year ago by memorably proposing to his girlfriend Magdalyne Masai who had finished fourth in the women’s race, and will return to the scene of his romantic act when he lines up against Farah on Sunday.
The 28-year-old has been in fine form in 2018, beating his own national record over the 10,000m with a 27.28 in New Orleans in April, and matching his half marathon PB in Japan clocking 60.01.
Robertson came within a whisker of beating Farah a year ago, with the British 35-year-old having to produce one of his trademark sprint finishes to come home six seconds ahead of his suitor on the South Shields coast.
Farah will continue his preparations for the Chicago Marathon, where he takes on Galen Rupp and Yuki Kawauchi over 26.2miles, and Farah’s competition will be at similar points of their training for the iconic distance.
Daniel Wanjiru, who won the London Marathon in 2017, will take on Farah and Robertson on Tyneside, while 2012 New York Marathon winner Stanley Biwott has also been added to the field.
Commonwealth marathon champion Mike Shelley will make his debut at the world’s biggest half marathon on Sunday, while British interest will come in the shape of Great Britain’s Olympian Andy Vernon and Jonny Mellor.
Simplyhealth Great North Run is live on BBC One on Sunday 9 September, 09:30-13:30. For more information on the event, visit: Greatrun.org/North