Fans thrilled to see Sir Mo Farah in Antrim Coast action

Sir Mo Farah sweeps to victory in the P&O Antrim Coast Half Marathon. Credit: Presseye

Four-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Mo Farah has taken victory in the scenic Antrim Coast Half Marathon – one of the flattest and fastest courses in the UK and Ireland.

The appearance by Team GB’s star long-distance runner came after he broke the one-hour world record on his return to the track earlier this month.

Sir Mo finished Saturday’s event in just under one hour and 30 seconds.

Mobot time. Credit: Presseye

Usually, tens of thousands of spectators would gather, but given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, numbers were significantly down and people were encouraged to view the half marathon online.

However, those who did watch along the course – being mindful of public health guidance and under the watchful eyes of marshals and police – were delighted to see Sir Mo take part.

Rick Monroe, from Newtownards in Co Down watched from the side of the road with his son.

“My son is in a running club. He is 13 and has always idolised Farah,” he said.

“The chance to see him in person was too good to pass up.”

Sir Mo in action. Credit: Presseye

Mr Monroe added: “It has been brilliant.

“We had our masks at the ready if there was going to be any crowding, but we were just trying to be conscientious spectators.

“Everyone is nicely spaced out and there are marshals and one police officer, so it is well organised.”

It is a real coup for Larne. This would be one of the most scenic races that we would have in Northern Ireland.

Mid and East Antrim Mayor Peter Johnston

Starting at the Chaine Memorial tower, built in 1888, the course makes its way through Larne town before moving onto the Antrim Coast Road.

The stunning landscape was recognised by the makers of HBO’s Game Of Thrones, who used the area extensively as one of their filming locations.

Turning homeward at Ballygally Castle, the course offers one of the fastest finishes to any road race.

Competitors in action in the Antrim Coast Half Marathon. Credit: Presseye