13th April 2014 – Double Olympic and World Champion Mo Farah (GBR) made his highly anticipated marathon debut around the streets of his home city London.
In what was widely regarded as the strongest marathon field ever assembled it was never going to be an easy race for Farah and so it proved. Making a conscious decision to start out slower than the pace of the first group Farah passed through halfway in 63:09, but as his adventure continued further into the unknown he was not able to make an impact on the leaders and crossed the line in 2:08:21 for 8th place. Although disappointed after the race Farah was not put off and stated “100% (I’ll do another one). I’m not going to finish it (the marathon) like this.”
Also making his debut over the 26.2 mile distance was former European 10,000m silver medalist Chris Thompson (GBR). Considering his lack of experience Thompson ran a very well judged race, passing halfway in 65:05 and backing this up with a 66:14 second half for a final time of 2:11:19 and 11th place.
London was sandwiched in the middle of three big marathon weekends which last week saw Mike Kigen (KEN) and Mark Kiptoo (KEN) take 7th and 9th places respectively in the Paris Marathon and next week sees Micah Kogo (KEN) at the Boston Marathon trying to go one better than the 2nd place finish he achieved in last years race.