Mo Farah on 'perfect end' to career ahead of his last race at Great North Run

North News Pictures
Out of all the times Sir Mo has taken part in the half marathon, he said his favourite was when he went up against Haile Gebrselassie and Kenenisa Bekele in 2013, in a legendary line-up. Credit: North News Pictures

Sir Mo Farah has said the Great North Run is the "perfect way" to end his career as an elite athlete.

The four-time Olympic champion was speaking at the finish line in South Shields ahead of the 42nd Great North Run on Sunday 10 September, which will be his final competitive race.

The half marathon has been a mainstay in Farah's racing calendar for a number of years, and he has won the event six times.

He said: "Great North Run has so many memories for me. As a young boy, taking part in the one mile, two miles and seeing how the event has become huge over the years, Sir Brendan Foster and the team have done incredibly well.

"The people really do get behind you and over the years I've almost built up a good relationship with them. They do get behind you the last two miles when you go over that hill and onto the seafront of Shields. It's going to be mixed emotions."

Sir Mo Farah said Great North Run Founder, Sir Brendan Foster (right), had been a source of inspiration for him. Credit: North News Pictures

Fondly speaking of the people in the North East, he described the region as "home," and is hoping the crowd will help him win this weekend and take home a final medal to finish his career.

"You can't take away from the home crowd. As I say, when you go to a football match, home or away, who ever you have in the crowd when they get behind you that makes a big difference," he added.

"Hopefully on Sunday I'll get a little bit of help and people will be cheering for me, but I'll give it a push.

"It is home. They've supported me throughout the years, and I've always come out here at the end of season and I feel like this is home."

  • ITV Tyne Tees' Amy Lea speaks to Sir Mo Farah ahead of his final run.

After struggling with injury in 2019, Farah decided to retire and decided on the Great North Run 2023 being his final race.

He said: "After thinking about it and I was like, 'the Great North Run has been amazing to me over the years, I've won it six times. It's the perfect way to end it where I've always end the season. Its only fair."

Despite joking about coming back as a pacemaker, Farah was adamant this will be his last race. He is planning to spend his extra time with his family.

The four-time Olympian and six-time World Champion's family will not be in the North East to see him complete his final race, but the runner said the family will watch him run the 13.1 miles from home.

He said his favourite Great North Run to date had been in 2013, when he went up against Haile Gebrselassie and Kenenisa Bekele.

He said: "Amongst us we're so accomplished, so many Olympic medals, and if you looked at the CVs, bringing us three together in a race was huge. That's one of my favourites even though I didn't win."

Farah, famous for his "Mobot" celebration, has teased people to watch out for what he might do as a final "crazy" celebration.

He has previously done an Alan Shearer style celebration when he crossed the line in 2016.

Sir Mo's bib for his last ever race has the caption 'One Mo Time' instead of a number. Credit: North News Pictures

Ahead of bowing out of distance running, Farah thanked his supporters. He said: "Thank you for supporting me over the years, it's nice to hear people are inspired by athletes, as I myself was inspired by Brendan Foster and other athletes in the past.

"In order for us to get better and keep improving we all have to have a role model and someone to inspire us."

And for those running on Sunday, he added: "Good luck, be strong, keep believing in your self, one step at a time, and thank you for all your support."

Farah also recommended people pick up plenty of water along the Newcastle-South Shields route as the weather is expected to be extremely hot.

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