Meet the Great North Run’s ‘mini-Mo’

Athletics Weekly - - News -

THE big story of the Sim­ply­health Great North Run was Mo Farah cap­tur­ing his fifth suc­ces­sive ti­tle. But a few min­utes be­hind him an­other So­mali-Brit called ‘Mo’ was also mak­ing an im­pact, writes Ja­son


Mo Aadan, 28, was born in So­ma­lia and moved to the UK at a young age – just like his fa­mous name­sake – and in the 13.1-mile race last week from New­cas­tle to South Shields he fin­ished sec­ond Brit home in 63:59 in ninth over­all as Farah clocked 59:26 to win.

Yet Aadan feels he can run faster at the Com­mon­wealth Half-Marathon Cham­pi­onships in Cardiff on Oc­to­ber 7 be­cause part of his build-up to the Great North Run was in­ter­rupted by ill­ness.

“I was out for six weeks train­ing in Kenya,” he says.

“The first three weeks went well but I picked up an ill­ness – pneu­mo­nia or some­thing – and I was in hos­pi­tal for two or three days.”

He added: “I was strug­gling after about six miles. My breath­ing was not there. I wasn’t where I wanted to be. I wanted to run closer to 60 min­utes but it didn’t hap­pen, al­though luck­ily I didn’t drop out.

“Now I’m rep­re­sent­ing Eng­land in Cardiff so I’m look­ing for­ward to that. The Great North Run will be good prepa­ra­tion ahead of Cardiff and I think I’ll be bet­ter in a few weeks’ time.”

Aadan lives in the White City area of London and does his track work-outs at the Lin­ford Christie Sta­dium as a mem­ber of Thames Val­ley Har­ri­ers. He has run 13:57 for 5000m and this year clocked 28:39 at the High­gate 10,000m but he be­lieves his true po­ten­tial lies on the roads and he ran his half­marathon PB of 62:34 as the No.1 Bri­tish fin­isher (in 36th) at the IAAF World Half-Marathon Cham­pi­onships in Va­len­cia in March.

Right now he’s keen to run well at 10km and the half­marathon with pos­si­ble Olympic se­lec­tion on the track in Tokyo, but ul­ti­mately he’d like to fol­low Farah into the marathon.

“We share the same ori­gin,” he says. “We have been to train­ing camps to­gether. I’ve trained with him a cou­ple of times and he al­ways helps other ath­letes. He’s my role model, in­spi­ra­tional and the run­ner I look up to.”

Aadan only be­gan to take run­ning se­ri­ously in about 201112 – and it’s no co­in­ci­dence that this co­in­cides with the start of Farah’s global track dom­i­nance.

“Even after he moved into marathons it makes me want to as well,” Aadan adds. “I wasn’t such a per­fect run­ner on the track but things are pick­ing up now I’ve moved on to the roads.”

As for his marathon de­but. “Maybe next year,” he says, “but I’m not in a hurry to run a full marathon. I think some­time in the fu­ture I have the po­ten­tial to run 60-61 for the half-marathon and we’ll see what hap­pens after that.”

Mo Aadan: striv­ing to fol­low in the foot­steps ofMo Farah

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