Mo Farah recently won his third consecutive Great North Run, finishing in a time of 1:00:04. Pre-race, it seemed he was amongst the favourites, along with Kenenisa Bekele, world record holder over 5,000m and 10,000m and Kenyan Martin Mathathi. He is the only man in history to have won the race for three consecutive years, and seems to have maintained his form which saw him win two gold medals at the Rio Olympics last month. Having now obtained victory once more in Newcastle, Farah may look to use this race as motivation to continue running at the top, and add to his multiple British and European records he already owns, including the British record for the 5,000m.
Farah entered the race as the reigning champion, recording a time of under an hour, 59:22, in 2015 on his way to gold.He seemed to run at a fast pace, and may have been looking to improve on his previous times. He spent the majority of the race at the front, running in a small pack which included eventual silver medallist Dathan Ritzenhein eventually stretching his lead to obtain gold. His performance seemed to be efficient, and, whilst another win may suggest he is at peak fitness, Sunday’s performance may also impact his upcoming races in a productive way; he may use it to prove to himself he may compete consistently amongst the best.
At Rio 2016, Farah won two gold medals, over the distances of 5,000m and 10,000m.In doing so, he became the first man to do the double-double, adding to his two golds in the same events at London 2012. In London, he seemed to be a poster-boy: a British athlete who the public may have expected to do well. It seemed to benefit Farah, who won one of his golds on the same day as Jessica Ennis and Greg Rutherford. In Rio, he seemed to run at a higher standard; in the 10,000m final, he seemed to be tripped by training partner Galen Rupp midway through the race. Farah got up and went on to win the race in a time of 27:05.64, entering the lead with 100m to go. He later added to this victory with a gold in the 5,000m. Having now won gold medals at two Olympic games, and European Championships, his medal tally seems to be vast, and the quest for further records and medals may motivate him to continue to win.
Mo Farah may now be considered amongst Britain’s greatest ever athletes; he has won multiple gold medals in varying events, which may suggest he is an accomplished athlete as over any long distance race he seems to be able to maintain his form and speed. Ultimately, whilst he may be most famous for being a four-time Olympic gold medallist, it is perhaps his ability to transfer his skills into longer, seemingly more competitive, challenging races which may result in him being regarded as one of the best of all time. Farah is the European record holder over multiple distances, including 1500m, 5,000m, half-marathon and two miles. He also holds the British indoor record for the 3000m. His success over multiple disciplines, and seemingly his ability to maintain high levels of fitness, may act as a beneficial motivator for younger runners who may look up to the seemingly accomplished athlete.
Next year may be a big year for Farah, as he may compete at the IAAF World Championships in London.Running at home, he may be expected to win, and thus may need to draw on his past experiences and victories. If he is able to maintain his high level of form which he seems to be presently running at, he may be able to add to his gold tally at the tournament, and may attempt to obtain additional British and European records. Next year also contains another Great North Run, a race which Mo may look to create further history by winning for four consecutive years; it seems he is already one of the best in history, however additional wins may only cement his place in the record books.
What other gold medals may Mo Farah win?