Mo Farah is a four-time Olympic champion and the most successful British track-athlete in the history of the modern Olympics. He has very little left to prove. He’s been knighted, won Sports Personality of the Year, invented his own trademark celebration in the form of the “mobot” and provided arguably the most iconic moment of the London games. He’s a legend in his field and beloved by almost everyone (aside from maybe a few Spurs fans and now Ethiopian running legend Haile Gebrselassie).
If anybody could be forgiven for putting their feet up and spending a bit of time on the couch, it’s the all-around nice guy and long-distance hero himself. Fortunately, for British sports fans at least, Farah shows little interest in stuffing his face with crisps and watching Game of Thrones marathons; instead, he’s more interested in real-life titles and real-life marathons. Which is why he’ll be competing in the forthcoming 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon.
A “retired” track legend (he’s eyeing a comeback shot in the 10,000m race at Tokyo 2020), Mo is a relative newcomer to road-running and the 26.2-mile distance that a marathon entails. Whilst he subsequently went on to taste marathon success – winning the 2018 Chicago Marathon in a record time of 2:05:11 for a European athlete – Farah was only able to finish third in last year’s London marathon; being comprehensively beaten by the man who will prove to be his biggest rival at this year’s event, Eliud Kipchoge.
Kipchoge is the Mo Farah of marathon running. As the 2018 IAAF Athlete of the Year, he’s clearly popular. The Kenyan is also utterly dominant at his distance and the current world record holder for the marathon, having set a time of 2:01:39 (a whole minute quicker than the previous record) at the 2018 Berlin Marathon. He’s also unbeaten in London and holds the course record of 2:03:05. So, Mo faces an uphill task – despite the almost completely flat route – if he’s to win his first London Marathon. Thankfully though, Farah knows a thing or two about claiming victory in his hometown.
Amongst the myriad iconic performances at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, few stand out as much as Farah’s gold medal-winning performances. Winning the 10,000m race, Farah caused the biggest roar the Olympic stadium would witness during the entire games; putting the cherry on the cake of a night that many described as the greatest in British track-and-field history.
Having defeated all-comers on the track, it’s clear that Farah’s current goal is to win the London Marathon. He’s now coached by Gary Lough, the husband and former coach of Paula Radcliffe, and the man responsible for helping her to achieve a marathon world record. Farah is therefore perfectly set up to achieve hometown glory and fulfil his ambitions once again.
Kipchoge may be the favourite at odds of 2/3 (1.66), who sits upon the Iron Throne of marathon running right now, but in Mo Farah he faces a man in form and the King of The North (well, The Great North Run) and the man who can unite the long-distance running kingdoms for good.
You can back Sir Mo to win at 9/2 (5.5) here.