Sun. Jul 21st, 2024

‘Running is everything to me’: Sir Mo Farah signs off in style in final race at Great North Run

Mo Farah’s final race saw him finish fourth at the Great North Run

The 40-year-old was greeted with loud cheers as he finished his last competitive race in fourth place.

Mo Farah blazed into retirement with a celebrated fourth-place finish at the 42nd Great North Run in his final competitive race before calling time on a remarkable career.

The 40-year-old Farah, a six-time winner at this event, announced earlier this year that he would be the racing one last time as a competitive athlete, and he did not disappoint the watching fans in Newcastle as he challenged for a top time over the 13-mile course.

The early stages saw Farah burst to the front of the pack and lead the way through a rapid four-and-a-half minute opening mile in the searing heat. The Brit managed to keep up the pace until the halfway stage of the race before Tamarit Tola, Bashir Abdi and Muktar Edris kicked things up a gear.

Ireland’s Efrem Gidey stuck to Farah’s shoulder until the final mile but dropped away as the Brit took in the adulation of the onlooking crowd, high fiving the bystanders and finishing with a more than respectable time of 1:03:28 to loud applause.

“It’s amazing support, I wanted to come out here and celebrate, without the crowd I wouldn’t have got through it,” said Farah after completing the race.

“It’s very important to have a race like this. Without the support and community in Newcastle, it wouldn’t be the same. There was a lot going through my mind today. I wanted to end my career here in Newcastle. I’ve won it six times and come here off the back of Olympics and World Championships.

“Running is everything to me. I shared my story of what I went through as a child. Without having something to do and make me happy, it would have been very difficult for me.”

Farah went on to thank all the people who helped him to achieve medals, titles and such brilliant success across his career adding: “What we forget is the people behind you, without their support, I wouldn’t be where I am. My wife looking after the kids when I’m away. It is very emotional.

“All I know is running, that’s what made me happy for so many years. When you win something, you don’t quite appreciate it as much as when you lose. The last couple of years I’ve struggled with many injuries and doubted myself. It’s been a hard journey and I wanted to end my career at the Olympics but it didn’t quite go to plan.”

Considered one of the greatest runners of all time, Farah won 10 global championship gold medals, including four Olympic and six World titles. He is the most successful male track distance runner ever and is the most successful British track athlete in modern Olympic Games history.

Farah’s rise to stardom was epitomised in 2012 when he sprinted to victory in both the 5,000m and 10,000m at the London Olympics before backing up that feat four years later in Rio de Janeiro to become just the second athlete, after Lasse Virén, to win both titles at successive Olympic Games.

Between 2012 and 2017 Farah had an unbroken streak of 10 global final wins though that run ended with a second place result in his final championship track race when he finished behind Ethiopia’s Muktar Edris.

He then responded by taking on and winning the 2018 Chicago Marathon in a time of 2:05:11 which remains a British record.

After announcing his retirement earlier in the year the long-distance legend ran his final London Marathon and finished ninth before struggling with a cold in a fourth-place finish in his penultimate race at the Big Half in London last weekend.

Ahead of the start, Farah was congratulated by a range or stars from sport and screen including Denise Lewis, Alan Shearer, Tanni Grey-Thompson and Paddy McGuinness who all wished him luck for his final race.

He couldn’t quite complete a fairytale ending for a seventh Great North Run victory but the final 200 metres will live long in his memory as the fans celebrated the British sporting icon by cheering him across the line, one final time.

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By Chala Dandessa

I am Lecturer, Researcher and Freelancer. I am the founder and Editor at ETHIOPIANS TODAY website. If you have any comment use as email contact. Additionally you can contact us through the contact page of

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