Mo Farah is looking forward to taking on some of the world’s best ever long-distance runners in the 2018 London Marathon on Sunday - and aims to secure a podium place and the British record.
Competing in the elite men’s race, Farah will go up against last year’s winner Daniel Wanjiru, two-time London winner Eliud Kipchoge and Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele.
Farah, a four-time Olympic gold medallist on the track, competes in London for the first time since 2014, when he finished in eighth place. But four years on from that disappointment he is now a favourite to win in London.
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Speaking at the pre-race press conference yesterday, the 35-year-old was in a relaxed mood, says The Times, when asked about his aims for Sunday.
Quoted by The Daily Telegraph, Farah said he is excited by the challenge in the capital - even if his rivals are running at world-record pace. He also feels under less pressure than when he was racing on the track.
“This is the biggest race,” said Farah, who finished in 2:08:21 in 2014. “There is only one way to run and that is mixing in with the guys and seeing what we can do. If that [world-record pace] is what the guys are doing, why not?
“It’s a great feeling not having as much pressure as I did on the track. On the track people expect you to win. Now [in the marathon] there are a lot of guys who can run a lot faster than me.
“It’s a good feeling but when I turn out I am going to give it 110% and see what I can do. My aim is to learn as much as I can and mix in with the guys.”
While Farah aims to “mix it” with the likes of Wanjiru, Kipchoge and Bekele, he has the British and European records in his sights as well as a top-three finish. Steve Jones (2:07:13) has held the British record for 33 years while Norway’s Sondre Nordstad Moen holds the European record of 2:05:48.
“I think I am capable of running 2:04 or 2:03 in the right race with the right pace,” Farah told The Guardian. “But Sunday’s race is going to be different. There are many, many guys who are there to fight, so it’s going to be a difficult race.”
Speaking to The Times, Farah said he would take the race “one step at a time”. He said: “The aim is definitely to go after that British record for sure. But at the same time, in my mind since 2014 to now I have learnt a lot more and I understand a lot more. The aim is just one step at a time, go after that British record, see what I can do and see what happens.
“A win would be amazing for me. Obviously it’s going to be difficult. But in every race I go into it to fight and try to go for podiums.”
Farah and the elite men’s field start at 10am on Sunday. See our 2018 London Marathon guide for more details.
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