Sir Mo Farah concedes age has caught up with him ahead of his final London Marathon, as the four-time Olympic medallist admits it will be difficult to hold back the tears at the finish line
Mo Farah expects there to be tears on Sunday when he runs the marathon in the city he calls home for one final time.
The four-time Olympic gold medallist turned 40 last month and has confirmed this weekend’s London Marathon will be his last race over that distance. He then plans to run in just two more events before he retires at the end of this year.
This will be Farah’s fourth marathon in the capital, after finishing eighth in 2014, third in 2018 – when he broke the British record – and fifth in 2019.
And he thinks it will be an emotional farewell in the city he was smuggled to from Somalia aged eight – and where he enjoyed his greatest glory by winning golds in the 5,000m and 10,000m at London 2012.
‘This is it. It will be my last marathon,’ said Farah in London on Thursday. ‘When you know it’s the end of the road, you always get emotional. I think it will get to me. Maybe after the race there will be tears.
Sir Mo Farah has reiterated that Sunday’s London Marathon will be his final one
Farah has struggled with injuries in recent years and has admitted time has caught up with him
Farah expects the race to be an emotional one and feels a few tears may be shed at the end
‘London is my home. This is where my journey started as a young boy who took part in the mini marathon, won that, and watched the senior race thinking, “One day I’m going to run the London Marathon”.
‘Also the memory of 2012 and that Super Saturday. That still motivates me to keep going. All the people in the UK have been a big part of my career and I owe them.’
Farah, who has been training in Ethiopia and finished seventh in a 10km race in Gabon earlier this month, has not run a full marathon in three years and pulled out of last year’s race with a hip injury.
‘I don’t know if my body can do it but I have to finish,’ he said. ‘It has definitely been quite emotional these last couple of years. As an athlete, you always want to go out there and do the best you can, but my body hasn’t allowed me to do what I needed to do in training.
‘That’s been the hardest thing. For many years, I tended to take it for granted. As you get older, that totally changes because you can’t do what you did. That is the most frustrating thing. Age does catch up with you and your body.’
Farah’s legacy has, of course, been tarnished by his relationship with his former coach Alberto Salazar, who was banned for four years in 2019 for doping violations. The American has since been banned for life for sexual and emotional misconduct.
Asked if he had any regrets in his career, Farah insisted: ‘Not at all. I wouldn’t have done anything different. I just took that journey and kept going and kept grafting. As an athlete you go out there and deliver and win races. That’s what I’ve done.’