FARAH’S CAREER GOES FULL CIRCLE
GREAT North Run winner Mo Farah has never been short of staying power. In 1998, aged 15, he won the London Mini Marathon on the morning of April 26 but the event was a mere warm-up for another race on the same day.
After winning on the roads of the English capital, he didn’t hang around to watch Catherina McKiernan and Abel Anton storm to victory over the full marathon distance. Instead, he rushed off to St Albans to win a 1500m steeplechase in 4:46.2 for his club, Borough of Hounslow, at the McDonald’s Young Athletes’ League.
Next April will mark exactly 20 years since that Mini Marathon victory. At the age of 35 and with 10 global track titles under his belt, he will line up in London again to tackle the full 26.2-mile distance (News, p20).
After struggling to eighth place in ‘only’ 2:08:21 in his marathon debut in 2014, he knows the 2018 event will not be easy. A further reminder of how tough it will be will come on September 24, too, when the big guns of men’s marathoning attack the world record in Berlin (News, p22).
Winning aside, Farah’s target will be Steve Jones’ British record of 2:07:13. As he enters the twilight of his career, it won’t be easy, but he won’t be short of stamina, speed and support as his career comes around full circle to the same streets of London where it all started 20 years earlier.
THE Berlin Marathon this month is Stuart Storey’s penultimate event as an athletics commentator as he brings the curtain down on a splendid career.
I caught up with Storey (right) recently for a sprint down memory lane and the interview (see p30-33) gives a snapshot of an amazing life in athletics which has involved not only commentating alongside the legendary David Coleman and Ron Pickering, but being an Olympic sprint hurdler in his own right.