- (PHOTO:REUTERS/Charles Platiau)
Olympic gold medalist runner Mohammad Farah has dreams about competing in a full-length marathon. But his idol, fellow gold medalist runner Haile Gebrselassie, who reigned a decade before him, suggests that Farah should take his time.
On Sunday, three of the greatest runners in the world met at the starting line for the Great North Run, a half marathon which goes from Newcastle to South Shields. The half marathon is one of Farah's first public debuts as a marathon runner before he attempts a full marathon debut in April of next year. Farah was join in the run by his hero Haile Gebrselassie and the Olympic gold medalist who reigned more than two decades ago, Kenenisa Bekele. For Farah, the moment was a dream come true.
"I remember when I was in sixth form at school, watching the 10,000m – a big race, Ethiopia versus Kenya. As soon as the class finished we stormed out and went to the TV. I remember Haile was leading and Paul Tergat was pushing, pushing and pushing. Haile was just there and it came right to the line, we were all leaning forward and Haile stuck his chest out," Farah told the Guardian.
"That was one of the greatest races I've ever watched and from that point I said: 'I want to be Olympic champion,'" he said.
Farah's Olympic dreams came true last year when he became an Olympic and World champion in the 5,000 meter and 10,000 meter race. Now, he aspires to dominate the road.
"I believe I have done good things on the track, now it's what can I do on the road," Farah said. But his hero believes that he should take a different path.
"I asked him recently: 'Mo, why do you need to move to the marathon? It's too early for you," Haile told The Mirror.
"He's fantastic over 5,000m, 10,000m and even 1500m. He's done amazing. And if he continues in the 5,000m and 10,000m, maybe there's the chance for him to break the world record – because, when it comes to the marathon, he has a long career ahead," the fellow Olympian added.