Tag Archives: Great North Run

Mo Farah’s racing comeback

Distance running legend returns to the roads of London and Manchester in May but what else does the summer of 2022 hold in store?

After signing up to race the Vitality London 10,000 on the roads of the British capital on May 2, Mo Farah has now announced he will be running the Great Manchester Run on May 22.

Despite turning 39 years old today (March 23) and enduring an injury-hit summer in 2021 which saw him fail to make the British Olympic team for Tokyo, there are signs he could be entering a surprisingly busy racing period.

After his disappointing season last year he talked about having one last hurrah – a big farewell race somewhere to mark the end of a career that has brought him, among other things, 10 global track titles. But there is now speculation he could be involved in this summer’s major championships on the track. Who knows, a return to the London Marathon in October could even be on the cards too.

Firstly, let’s stick to what we know. As Farah is racing 10km on the roads of London on May 2 and Manchester on May 22, this means we can pretty much rule him out of racing in the Müller Birmingham Diamond League on May 21.

Farah does not seem afraid of putting his reputation on the line either, incidentally, as the Great Manchester Run is also set to feature Stewart McSweyn, the Australian who holds the Oceania record for 1500m, mile and 3000m in addition to having clocked 27:23.80 for 10,000m on the track.

In addition, Andy Butchart is set to race and has been in good shape recently after having run 27:36.77 for 10,000m in California this month to break Ian Stewart’s 45-year-old Scottish record.

So if Farah’s road races in May go well, what are his options? Surprisingly he has never won a Commonwealth title and with the event on home soil in Birmingham it must be tempting.

The consensus is that he would struggle on the track against the likes of Joshua Cheptegei and Selemon Barega in the World Championships in Oregon in July. But Christian Malcolm, the head coach of the British team, has suggested it is “50/50”.

Speaking as last weekend’s World Indoor Championships in Belgrade drew to a close, Malcolm said: “Sir Mo is working hard and training. We will see how he goes in the summer. But he’s at that age now where you have to take it week-by-week, month-by-month, see where you are at in training.”

On the chances of him competing in Oregon, Malcolm added: “It’s possible. We don’t know at the moment. It’s 50-50 if I am being honest with you. Hopefully we will know a little bit more over the next six weeks.

“Does he still have a talent? Yes, he does. So let’s see if his body can handle it. Like I said, over the next six weeks Mo will know a little bit more about where he is at.”

As for the Great Manchester Run, Farah last took part in the event in 2018 when he outkicked Moses Kipsiro to clock 28:27.

Farah said: “I’m pleased to say the injury problems I had last year are now behind me, training has been going well and I am happy with the shape I am showing.

“Any time I race in the UK it is exciting for me because I love running in front of my home fans and I want to give my best for them.  I had an amazing reception in Manchester when I won the event in 2018 so I’m looking forward to racing on the streets of the city again later this year.”

It will be fascinating to see if Farah’s form during May is close to his best or whether there is little improvement on last year when he struggled at the British 10,000m Championships in Birmingham to clock 27:50.64 before barely improving three weeks later to run 27:47.04 in an invitation 10,000m at the Olympic trials in Manchester.

How will he fare, too, if he comes up against the rising force of Marc Scott, who beat Farah in Birmingham last year despite not being 100% fit himself and has since won the Great North Run, clocked 12:57.08 for 5000m indoors and on Saturday won bronze in the 3000m at the World Indoor Championships?

Source: athleticsweekly.com

Hellen Obiri targets the podium at Istanbul Half Marathon

Double world champion, Hellen Obiri will be making her comeback at the 44th edition of the Istanbul Half Marathon that will be held on March 27, 2020 in Istanbul, Turkey.

The 31 year-old made her half marathon debut here in 2020 where she ran an exceptional time of 1:04.51 that made her the fourth-fastest Kenyan of all-time over the distance.

Obiri has gained experience in half marathon running since her debut. She has put her focus on road races, she won the Great North Run in last September with a time of 1:07.42 and recently she displayed her great form when she finished second at the Ras Al Khaimah half marathon that was held last month, where she also improved on her personal best to 1:04.22.

The World Cross Country Champion is now ranked the fifth fastest half marathon runner of all time. “I am so happy to be returning to Istanbul. I ran my half marathon debut in this race last year and I hope I can improve both my position and my time on this occasion,” Obiri said.

The race organizers have lined up for Ethiopians who have personal best of sub 1:07.00 that will also face Obiri in the coming three weeks time.

The 2021 Copenhagen half marathon champion, Tsehay Gemechu leads the four athletes as she comes to this race with the second fastest time on paper of 1:05.08.

The 23 year-old has an impressive half marathon record with four wins out of five races. Hawi Feysa was second behind Gemechu in Copenhagen in September, when she ran a personal best of 1:05.41 in her debut.

Nigsti Haftu and Bekelech Gudeta are the other title contenders and they come to this race with their personal best of 1:06.17 and 1:06.54. Haftu got her all time best at last year’s Valencia Half Marathon where she finished in sixth place while Gudeta got her lifetime best at this race in last year’s edition where she finished in position seven.

The two times Olympic 5000m silver medallist is ready to battle the four and she is looking forward to the challenge on the flat course.

“My training has been going on well but I know it will be a tough challenge as the field is very strong. I look forward to an exciting race in a beautiful city, “said Obiri.

The four athletes have been put together by the race organizer to chase the race course record of 1:04.02 that was set last year by Ruth Chepngetich from Kenya. This time still stands as the world record because it has been ratified by the World Athletics.

The current world half marathon record holder is Letesenbet Gidey from Ethiopia who broke the previous mark by more than a minute in 2021 in Valencia.

Hellen Obiri debuts Zevenheuvelenloop

Four-time world champion Hellen Obiri will be at the star to watch at the NN Zevenheuvelenloop that will be held on Sunday 21 November in Netherland.

 The 31 year-old who has less experience on the road compared to running on the track.

Obiri made her half marathon debut at the Istanbul Half Marathon last April where she ran an exceptional 1:04.51 making her the fourth-fastest Kenyan of all-time.

Last month she ran away with Great North Run title in a time of 1:07.42 beating European Indoor bronze medallist Champion Eilish McColgan from United Kingdom who crossed the line in second place.

Obiri successfully defended her 5000m title at the 2019 World Championships, in Doha, setting a new championship record.

In 2017 Obiri was cited as one of the Top 100 most influential Africans by New African magazine.

Galen Rupp to battle Bashir Abdi at Great North Run

The 2012 Olympic Games gold medallist in 10,000m Galen Rupp will be the star to watch at the 40th edition of the Great North Run that will be held on Sunday (12) from Newcastle to South Shields in England.

The 2016 Rio marathon bronze medallist is coming off of an eighth place finish in the Olympic Marathon in Sapporo last month.  A veteran of seven half-marathons, the former Oregon Duck carries on his shoulder a personal best of 59:47 that he got at the 2018 Roma-Ostia half-marathon in Italy.

The 35 year-old American will battle for the top honors as he faces off with the recently crowned bronze medallist in the marathon at the 2020 Summer Olympics,  Somali-born Belgian Bashir Abdi who knows this streets well having participated in this race in 2018 where he finished in third place in 1:01.42. The 32 year-old has a personal best of 1:01.50 that he got in 2017 at the Lille Half Marathon in France.

Other established athletes slated to run are Britain’s Marc Scott who has a personal best of 1:00.35 and Jake Smith of 1:00.31 and Belgium’s Soufiane Bouchikhi of 1:02.59 are also competing on the men’s side, as is Britain’s Charlotte Purdue (1:08:23).

This year’s race has the inclusion of several track athletes making their half-marathon debuts. Those include Stewart McSweyn, the Australian record holder for both the mile (3:48.37) and 10,000m (27:23.80); Eilish McColgan, the British record holder for 5000m (14:28.55); Edward Cheserek, the Kenyan record holder for the indoor mile (3:49.44); and Dominique Scott, the South African record holder for 3000m indoors (8:41.18).

The assembled elite athletes will be fighting to try and lower the race course record of 58:56 that was set in 2011Kenya’s Martin Mathathi.

Sir Mo Farah out of Great North Run

Sir Mo Farah will not defend his Great North Run title this weekend but WILL return to competition next year.

The London 2012 Olympic Hero is the modern-day king of the Great North Run, having dominated the half marathon since 2014.

Britain’s most decorated athlete, who has won the last six GNRs, took part in Soccer Aid last weekend despite a stress fracture in his foot.

He appeared briefly as a substitute at the Etihad before limping off and it has been confirmed he has no plans to race in the foreseeable future.

Farah, 38, failed to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in June and his reaction sparked speculation he was about to retire.

“I’ve always said if I can’t compete with the best I won’t just go to be in a final,” he said that evening. “Tonight showed it’s not good enough.”

However, Great North Run founder Sir Brendan Foster revealed: “I can assure you Mo isn’t going to finish and I can assure you he’ll compete in the Great North Run again.

A spokesperson for Farah confirmed he has “no race plans in the pipeline” but that he will keep running, with a decision still to be made on whether he focuses on track or road races.

Two athletes die at Cardiff Half Marathon

The Cardiff half marathon didn’t finish as it was supposed to. Two of the athletes, one in 30s and the other in 20s, collapsed after crossing the final line and were rushed to hospital. Tragically both were declared dead on arrival by the doctors.

According to the organizers both the runners were treated for cardiac arrests and people connected to the half-marathon were devastated with the loss.

The Cardiff Half Marathon was held on October 7, Sunday, in ideal weather conditions from Cardiff Castle at 10 a.m. local time and finished outside the Civic Centre. It was organized by Run4Wales. More than 25,000 athletes participated in the 13-mile race.

One of the runners said, “I heard someone was taken ill at the end of the race, but to discover two people have died is truly shocking… It is a well-organized race with a lot of medical back-up. ‘I’m just so sad for the people and their families.”

According to Run4Wales Chief Executive Matt Newman the emergency services reacted to the situation with professionalism and great speed and in the 15-year history of the race the fatalities are the first.

The Cardiff half marathon is the second largest half marathon in United Kingdom. It was founded in 2003.

The first is The Great North Run. It is the largest half marathon in the world and is organized each September in North East England. The running track is between Newcastle upon Tyne and South Shields

The two athletes were males and were rushed to University Hospital Wales after they collapsed.

 

Mo Farah writes history as he wins fifth consecutive Great North Run title

Four-time Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah wrote history as he won his fifth consecutive Great North Run race that was held on Sunday(9) in Newcastle, United Kingdom.

Farah led a four-man bunch including Jake Robertson, former London Marathon champion Daniel Wanjiru and Abdi Abdirahman clear of the field, but had dropped the latter pair by the halfway stage.

Farah has long held an iron grip over this event, which is Britain’s most popular half-marathon, and he blew away the competition again by cutting the tape 59:26.

New Zealand’s Robertson came in second for the second year running, the New Zealander finishing 31 seconds behind Farah to squeeze in under an hour.

Third place went to Abdi, who like Farah was born in Somalia but represents Belgium.

Vivian Cheruiyot defends her title at the Great North Run

Reigning Olympic 5,000m champion Vivian Cheruiyot defended her title at the

38th edition Great North Run that was held on Sunday (9) in Newcastle, United Kingdom.

The 34 year-old saw off fellow Kenyan Brigid Kosgei to win her second women’s title when she cut the tape  in 1:07.43.

Cheruiyot, who also won this year’s London Marathon, finished strongly to shake off world record holder Joyciline Kepkosgei, who was passed by​ Kosgei and had to cling on for third place.

More to follow…

 

Mo Farah bids to create Great North Run history

Four years ago when Sir Mo Farah won the first of his four consecutive Great North Run titles he admitted he was still consumed with fear over what life on the road would bring.

Farah was still two years away from calling time on his glittering track career and remained unsure whether he was entirely cut out to translate that success to the world of elite marathon running.

But the 35-year-old returns to Newcastle on Sunday battle-hardened from two full years of mixing it with the world’s best distance runners – and intent on using the race to pave the way to glory over the longer distance.

Victory this weekend will make Farah the first man to win the Great North Run five times, and deliver the ideal preparations for his appearance next month at the Chicago Marathon.

Farah said: “I’m still learning and understanding more and I’m not afraid to mix it in. In 2014, I was afraid to mix it because it was their territory and I was a track runner. But now I’m not afraid of anything.

“It’s a totally different challenge and I’m enjoying every day of it. My goal is to win a major marathon. For a track runner the highlight is the Olympics, and in the marathon the biggest thing you can do is win a major race.”

This year’s Great North Run presents a different dimension for Farah, who admitted his previous victories in the race have signalled the end of the season and a rare opportunity to binge-eat sticky toffee pudding.

Farah, who has run the London Marathon twice, coming third in April, is closing in on his latest career goal and has not under-estimated the importance of making history in the process on Tyneside.

“My aim (in Newcastle) is to run a decent time – I’ve still got another week from this point so it will be a good test for me on Sunday to see where I am and what I can do,” said Farah.

“I’ve never gone into this race having had this amount of training. I’ve always gone into it thinking – ‘Great North Run, finish, sticky toffee pudding’.

“But after this it’s straight back to my training camp in Flagstaff to prepare for Chicago. Hopefully I will get the job done and there will be a lot of stuff to take back. Doing that as the first five-time winner would be amazing.”

Farah’s biggest challenge is likely to come from Kenya’s Daniel Wanjiru, winner of the 2017 London Marathon. Vivian Cheruiyot and Joyciline Jepkosgei are favourites for the women’s race.

Source: standard.co.uk

Vivian Cheruiyot to battle Joyciline Jepkosgei at Great North Run

Kenyans will once again be the talk in the City of Newcastle as world’s fastest woman over the half-marathon distance Joyciline Jepkosgei will face off with the 2018 London marathon champion Vivian Cheruiyot at the 38th edition Great North Run that will be held on Sunday (9) in England.

Jepkosgei, the world half marathon record holder, has been added to the field for the world’s biggest half-marathon this weekend and will be the main competitor to challenge the reigning Olympic 5,000m Cheruiyot in the iconic race.

“I have no injury concerns after shaking off the foot problem back in March. I hope to do well in my return to England,” said Jepkosgei..

The Kenyan clocked 64.51 in the Prague Half Marathon last year where she also broke the world 10km, 15km and 20km records.

She went on to beat her own 10km world record time back in Prague three months later when she clocked 29.43 to become the first woman to ever run under the 30 minutes mark in the distance.

Cheruiyot won on her debut over the distance in 2016, and finished second to Mary Keitany last year.

“I want to be on top of that podium again next month as I look forward to returning to England for the Simplyhealth Great North Run,” Cheruiyot said.

Last year, Keitany led Kenyans to sweep the top five places at in Great North Run women’s elite race.

The World marathon record holder timed 1:05:59 seconds, the third fastest women’s time in the race’s history for her third win.

Cheruiyot finished in second place with Caroline Kipkirui closing the podium three finish.