Double Olympic champion storms to success at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon, setting new British record in the process
Mo Farah continued his road-running adventure by securing victory along with a new national record at the Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Half Marathon on Sunday.
Crossing the line in 60:59, the double Olympic champion pipped Ethiopian Gebre Gebremariam into second place, shaving four seconds off Nick Rose’s 28-year-old British half marathon record.
The 29-year-old adds Sunday’s mark to the national records he already holds for 10k on the road, 5000m and 10,000m on the track, as well as 3000m indoors.
His winning time was actually 36 seconds slower than the result he recorded when making his half marathon debut in New York in 2011, however that result could not officially be considered a record due to the gradient of the course.
Speaking after the race he said: “It was definitely a fast course and had good guys pushing the pace. With about 200 metres left, I just kicked it in.”
Recently AW reported how Farah has confirmed he’ll be making his full marathon debut in London in 2014, running half the course in preparation at this year’s event.
He explained that although Sunday’s result was a step in the right direction, it by no means guarantees his success over 26.2 miles.
“It’s not going to be easy,” he admitted, “I’m going to have to train for it. It is going to be a completely different ball game.
“Today does not necessarily mean that I am going to be amazing at it. It is definitely going to be exciting.”
Farah was not the only Brit in action in New Orleans. Scott Overall finished seventh in 1:04:52, while Helen Clitheroe came fourth in the women’s race. The European indoor 3000m champion crossed the line in 71:46, four minutes behind winner Meseret Defar who recorded a course record of 67:25 in what was only her second ever half marathon.
Elsewhere, sprint action saw Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake both back on the track in Kingston this weekend. While Bolt was only down to participate in the heats of the 4x400m at the Gibson Relays, clocking a 45.7 split on the third leg for the Racers Lions, Blake ran the final of that event as well as the 4x100m.
Racers Lions won the shorter distance in 38.50 but were pipped into second in the 4x400m by Racers Tack Club, who took the win in 3:03.74.
Olympic sprint champion Bolt is due to compete in a 150m race on Copacabana Beach in Brazil next month, with the 26-year-old having set a world-best over the distance in Manchester in 2009.
In Tokyo Kenya’s Dennis Kimetto set a course record of 2:06:50 in the men’s marathon, with Ethiopia’s Aberu Kebede winning the women’s race in 2:25:34. The event made its debut as part of the World Marathon Majors race series on Sunday and was the first race in the series since the Chicago Marathon last October after the New York event was cancelled following the devastation caused by hurricane Sandy.
This weekend witnessed a number of world-lead results too including Renaud Lavillenie’s clearance of 5.94m in the pole vault at the National Indoor Meeting in Metz.
» Thanks to iaaf.org for Gibson Relays results