Farah focused on British record

Congleton Guardian: Mo Farah poses during a photocall at Tower Bridge, London. Mo Farah poses during a photocall at Tower Bridge, London.

Double Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah is aiming to smash the British record at the Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday in his first ever competitive attempt at the distance.

The 31-year-old, who won the hearts of the British public at London 2012 with golds in both the 5,000 and 10,000 metres, is untested and unproven over 26.2 miles.

An experienced and star-studded field will take to the start line at Greenwich Park including four of the 10 fastest marathon runners in history.

Farah, however, remains confident he can hold his own and has his sights firmly set on Steve Jones' British record of two hours, seven minutes and 13 seconds, which has stood since 1985.

"My main target is definitely to go after the British record," Farah said.

"Hopefully I can the break the British record and then we'll see what comes with it.

"It's going to be an incredible race whatever happens because if you look at the field, it's something very special."

Farah continued: "I know with my confidence on the track I should be there but at the same time the distance for me is a challenge.

"It's something I'm going to find out if I can do or not and that's what I wanted, I wanted to test myself.

"I'll go out there and go with the group and try to be patient - that's my aim, not to waste too much energy."

Doubts over whether Farah can stay the gruelling distance intensified after his performance at the New York City half-marathon last month.

Farah fell early on in the race and while he recovered to finish second behind Geoffrey Mutai, he collapsed shortly after crossing the finish line and had to be led away in a wheelchair.

"I fell over early on and it was just hard after that because you're so tired," Farah explained.

"The reason I collapsed afterwards was I gave 110 per cent, I gave all I could and towards the last four miles I was really feeling it, I was seeing stars and I was out of it completely.

"It was good to have my coach who has been there and done it, he just told me to get up and stop faking. I'm fine and I'm glad what happened in New York didn't happen here."

Farah continued: "It has happened before, when I ran cross country in 2009 so I wasn't worried at all.

"I didn't really miss any training, the fall was more worrying for me than what happened afterwards but fortunately I just had a few scratches on my hip and my back."

Also gunning for victory on Sunday will be reigning champion Tsegaye Kebede, world record holder Wilson Kipsang, course record holder Emmanuel Mutai, as well as Olympic and world champion Stephen Kiprotich.

Farah certainly has the pedigree on the track to match his rivals but given he is a novice on the road, it was put to him that he might be risking his reputation in London.

"Every race is a risk," Farah said. "Every race you go through, you achieve a lot and want to win but you're not guaranteed to win that race.

"I've gone in straight at the deep end and that's what champions do, you don't get anywhere if you don't do that.

"My first aim is to go after the British record and then I'll see what comes along.

"The most important thing is to respect the distance - if anything I think it makes me more of a champion going out there and going straight in."

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree