Four-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Mo Farah has announced the Big Half will be his last race in London before retiring.
Farah, who won back-to-back Olympic golds in the 5,000m and 10,000m, revealed ahead of the London Marathon in April that 2023 would be his final year as a competitive athlete. The 40-year-old cited injuries as the reason behind his decision, admitting: “My body is not allowing me.”
And it has now been confirmed his final competitive race in London, the city where he won his first two Olympic golds in 2012, will be the Big Half on September 3. It is an event he has won three times, most recently in 2022.
“I’m excited to run my last ever London race at The Big Half,” Farah said. “It will be bittersweet, knowing it will be the last time I race competitively in my hometown but it’s always such a great day and I know the London crowds will be cheering me on, as they always do. I look forward to being back in London and hope to bring home the win one final time.”
Spencer Barden, Head of Elite Athletes at London Marathon Events which organises the Big Half, added: “It’s fantastic to have Sir Mo leading the field at this year’s The Big Half. Mo has had a phenomenal career and everyone at London Marathon Events wishes him all the best in his retirement.
“Before that though, we hope he signs off his racing career in London with another record-breaking win at The Big Half.” However, the Great North Run on September 10 will be Farah’s final race altogether.
“I have so many incredible memories of racing at the Great North Run, my first ever race there in 2013 was billed as one of the greatest men’s half marathons in history,” he said. “It was a special experience to line up against Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele and the iconic Haile Gebrselassie.
“Kenenisa took the top spot that day, but there was so much support for me all along the course. Even at the finish line in the pouring rain, all I can remember was people shouting my name, it made me even more determined to come back and do them proud.
“From 2014 onwards I won the event in front of that incredible crowd six times. There were some really tough races, but the phenomenal support always saw me through.
“It’s fitting the AJ Bell Great North Run will be my last ever race as an elite athlete. It will definitely be emotional, but I’m so happy to have the opportunity to celebrate the end of my professional career on that famous finish line.”