British athletics legend Mo Farah is hoping to win a record fifth Great North Run when he competes in the half marathon event in Newcastle on September 9.
The 35-year-old Somalia-born quadruple Olympic gold medalist — who retired from championship track running after last year’s world championships in London — is also using it as a prep race ahead of October’s Chicago Marathon.
Farah is targeting taking possession of the Great North Run record which he presently shares with Kenya’s Benson Masaya, who won the last of his quartet in 1996.
The race has grown in importance since the inaugural one was won in 1981 by Britain’s Mike McLeod — the women’s race going to fellow Briton Karen Goldhawk. It draws legends of track and field such as Paul Tergat and Haile Gebrselassie, emerging triumphant in 2001 and 2010 respectively.
“I can’t wait to come back to Newcastle and race again,” said Farah, who also won six outdoor world titles.
“It’s something I look forward to every year, the crowds are always unbelievable and it’s a good course for racing.
“To be the best in the world you have to beat the best and it’s going to be no different here. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
Kenya’s 2016 Olympic and 2009 World champion in the 5000 metres Vivian Cheruiyot bids to make it two victories in three years and give herself an early birthday present as she turns 35 two days after this year’s edition.
She won on her debut over the distance in 2016, and finished second to compatriot Mary Keitany last year.
“It was a magnificent race when I won here for the first time in 2016 and I want to be on top of that podium again next month,” said Cheruiyot.