Mo Farah ends storied career with fourth place at Great North run
Posted : 10 September 2023
Mo Farah, the legendary British athlete, concluded his illustrious career with a fourth-place finish at the Great North Run, a half-marathon race spanning from Newcastle to South Shields. The 40-year-old, a four-time Olympic champion, struggled to maintain the pace early in the 13.1-mile race and finished 3 minutes and 30 seconds behind Ethiopia's Tamirat Tola, who won the race in 59 minutes and 58 seconds.
Reflecting on his farewell race, Farah expressed his emotions, stating, "It's very emotional. There was a lot going through my mind." Running has been an integral part of his life, bringing him happiness for many years, and he acknowledged that it had saved him.
Mo Farah leaves behind an illustrious legacy, having become the first Briton to achieve the Olympic double in the 5,000m and 10,000m events at London 2012, defending his titles in Rio 2016. His career includes numerous Olympic, world, European, and European indoor titles, along with a Chicago Marathon victory, spanning over two decades. During his final Great North Run, Farah acknowledged the crowd during the last 200 meters, even jogging back to interact with fans carrying "One Mo Time" signs.
Without the support of the crowd, Farah admitted it would have been challenging, emphasizing the importance of races like the Great North Run and expressing gratitude for the memories and medals. Renowned figures in the world of athletics, such as Brendan Foster and Steve Cram, hailed Farah as one of Britain's greatest sports icons, while British Athletics dubbed him "the greatest," and Team GB celebrated him as an inspiration to generations.
In the women's race, Kenya's Peres Jepchirchir, the Olympic marathon champion, secured victory in 1 hour, 6 minutes, and 45 seconds. In the men's race, Belgium's Bashir Abdi was the runner-up, and Ethiopia's Muktar Edris finished third behind winner Tamirat Tola.
The Great North Run witnessed notable achievements beyond the elite races, with 102-year-old Bill Cooksey raising funds by walking the course for the County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust. Keith Turner made history as the first person to complete the half marathon untethered, guided by Jim Roberts, who used a bell to provide direction. Almost 60,000 participants took part in the 42nd edition of the Great North Run, making it the largest half marathon in the world.