FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mo Farah to Run Half The 2013 Virgin London Marathon
Britain's double Olympic champion Mo Farah will get his first taste of an
elite marathon on 21 April when he runs the first half of the 2013 Virgin
London Marathon alongside some of the greatest marathon runners of all
The Olympic 5000m and 10,000m champion has agreed to make his full marathon
debut at the 2014 London Marathon and will use this year's race to prepare
himself for the challenge of tackling 26.2 miles. Farah's aim is to test
himself against the best in the world while becoming familiar with the
He will start with the elite men's field and run to half way in the company
of athletes such as marathon world record holder Patrick Makau, Olympic
champion Stephen Kiprotich and world champion Abel Kirui. The line-up
contains six of the 10 quickest men of all time, and four previous London
Marathon winners, including reigning London champion Wilson Kipsang and
course record holder Emmanuel Mutai.
Farah's appearance represents something of a homecoming for the west
Londoner who enjoyed some of his earliest victories on the national stage
when he won the London Mini Marathon three years in a row as a schoolboy
between 1998 and 2000.
The London Marathon supported Farah's career as he developed into a
world-beating athlete, going on to win two gold medals at the 2010 European
Championships and claiming the world 5000m title before his double Olympic
triumph at London 2012.
The London Marathon in conjunction with UKA have provided continuous
support for the High Altitude Training Centre in Iten, Kenya where many
British endurance runners train, especially Farah who is a regular visitor,
and this centre has now evolved into a recognised international athletics
endurance training centre hosting athletes from all around the world.
The London Marathon have supported St. Mary's University College for over
10 years and since 2010 has funded the St Mary's Endurance Performance and
Coaching Centre (EPACC) in partnership with St. Mary's and England
Athletics. The annual Virgin London Marathon Young Athlete Camp is held
there each summer.
Farah a former student at St Mary's for 10 years, lived in the house bought
for St. Mary's by the London Marathon, which provides athletics students at
the college with accommodation. Farah trained and ran on the college track,
funded also by the London Marathon.
Farah said: "As a young boy growing up in London it has always been my
ambition to run the London Marathon. I won the Mini Marathon when I was
younger and have watched the race every year for as long as I can remember.
"I will make my marathon debut in the 2014 London Marathon but will run the
2013 race to half way as part of my preparation for 2014. It will allow me
to understand the course and the systems I will need when I run the full
"To run as the double Olympic champion makes it even more special. Dave
Bedford and the London Marathon have always been there for me and it will
be my pleasure to run my first marathon in London."
Farah already has considerable experience on the roads. He holds the
national record for 10km and has won the Bupa London 10,000 four years in a
row. He made his half marathon debut in 2011 when he won the New York City
half marathon in 60:23, another British record.
London Marathon race director Hugh Brasher welcomed Farah's decision to
join the 2013 race.
"We are delighted that Mo wants to run with our elite runners this year,"
said Brasher. "We have been following and supporting Mo's career since he
first won the Mini London Marathon 15 years ago and are full of
anticipation for his marathon debut in 2014.
"Hopefully, his experience of the race, the route and the unique atmosphere
of the London Marathon will stand him in good stead when he takes on the
full race next year. We are sure he will gain some valuable insights and
come back fully prepared for the challenge."