Belfast Telegraph

Friday 21 November 2014

Sleepy Farah runs late for marathon

File photo dated 12/8/2012 of Olympic star Mo Farah said he was
Mo Farah said he was 'excited' for the London Marathon as he ran to catch the bus after sleeping in

Mo Farah's preparation for the London Marathon did not go quite as well as he might have hoped, after the London 2012 double champion overslept.

The 30-year-old Londoner - who ran half of Sunday's race - revealed earlier that he was running late live on the radio.

He shouted to a waiting BBC presenter: "Radio 5, gotta go! Gotta run, run, run, run!" Asked how he was feeling, he said as he ran down the street: "Yeah, feeling good."

And has he warmed up? "Not yet!" he replied. "I'm late! I woke up late! I'm going to miss the bus!" he laughed.

The build-up to Farah's participation in this year's marathon was shrouded in controversy as he is being paid a reported £425,000 for taking part in the 2013 and 2014 events.

There has been talk of murky motives and money-grabbing, with critics of his plan to run to halfway as practice for making his full 26.2 mile debut next year, accusing him of cashing in on his status and going against the spirit of the mass-participation event.

But Farah, who won the mini-marathon event three times in a row between 1998 and 2000 as a west London schoolboy, said he wanted to concentrate on track running this year rather than running long distance.

After dropping out at the 13.1 mile mark near Tower Bridge, Farah told the BBC: "It was incredible, the amount of support from people coming up for everywhere, just cheering the whole way, it's unbelievable.

"I didn't think there was going to be as many people as today. The atmosphere is incredible. Asked how he found the long distance, the Olympic 5,000m and 10,000m gold medal winner admitted: "I think the biggest challenge really is making sure you pick up the right drinks. I made a mess of it."

He said running the half distance had been good practice. "My aim was just to learn a lot from here, next year I'm going to come out and do the full marathon," he said. "This year I want to concentrate on the track - 5k, 10k. It's hard to do track and to get ready for a marathon, so I just want to take my time and get ready for next year."

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