Can mighty Mo Farah hammer Haile 'The Emperor' Gebrselassie at this year's Great North Run?
Was it just me, or did Brendan Foster mention the Bupa Great North Run rather a lot throughout his Olympic Games commentary? It’s no wonder that Foster is proud of his race: as well as welcoming more than 50,000 regular runners every year (it’s the world’s biggest half-marathon), the Great North Run attracts the world’s best athletes, and this year that means Great Britain’s Mo Farah.
As our newly crowned double gold-medallist, mighty Mo will have the nation behind him (doing the Mobot, of course) as he takes on the slight, smiling form of Ethiopia’s Haile ‘The Emperor’ Gebrselassie when the race unfolds on Tyneside on September 16.
On paper, Haile is the faster runner over the 13.1-mile distance. His half-marathon personal best, which he set back in 2006, is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-him 58:55 (the world record is 58:23) and his best Great North Run time was just 38 seconds off his PB when he made his debut at the race in 2010.
Mo’s half-marathon best is 60:23, which he set on his debut at the New York Half last year, but Foster is confident that Farah can cement his already rock-solid running reputation by becoming the first Brit to cover the distance in under an hour.
Let Battle Commence
Has the excitement of the Olympics worn Mo out? (He had to run 20K during the Games while Haile’s biggest exertion was carrying the Olympic flag.) Or will Mo’s world-beating form and the support of all those crowds striking a Mobot pose along the route sweep him to victory?
Go along to give Mo a well-deserved cheer after his amazing success in London, or watch the drama play out from your sofa: the race will be live on BBC1 from 10am on Sept 16. Go, Mo!
Picture credits: AFP, Ronald Martinez/Getty Images.