I’ve been surprised by how much he has thrown himself straight into his road running career, despite being a huge Mo fan. I honestly thought that once his track career was gone, he’d really struggle to find the motivation to risk getting beaten on the roads over distances which he readily admits he doesn’t find as straightforward as a 5 or 10.
So I’ve been really surprised to see what he’s been entering – it’s almost like he’s found the mode of a hobby runner like me who wants to accumulate medals!
Of course, there’ll be solid pay days from those, but it doesn’t feel to me like he’s going into this half-hearted in any way. Assuming illness and injury doesn’t get in his way (ISTR that post his London Mara debut a couple of years ago, it was reported that there’d been some issue in the last few weeks of training which had taken the edge off), I’d currently be surprised if he doesn’t post a 2:06:XX or faster in London after dipping under 60 for at least one of the two half marathons.
What are others’ expectations of him, and why? I know many don’t think he has quite the right “stuff” to go close to Kipchoge et al, but I get the sense that he is well and truly committed to this and unless he blows up spectacularly in London, I think he will over-perform compared to many expectations.
If it wasn’t for Moen I’d say he’d give them a miss, but now that he’s going to be challenged even to be the fastest European marathoner I can see that there is some lure there. August in Berlin though, not ideal timing if he wants (and deserves) a decent payday at one of the Majors that year, though I suppose a good London marathon in 2018 might be able to be backed up with a champs race in August.
Where have you seen him ruling out 2019 WCh? I can only see his supportive comments in 2015 about it being a night event.
Unlikely to be a stellar field but still interesting to see how close to dipping under 60 he can go if there isn’t any pressure on for the win.
The elite fields are small (see the bottom of this preview) and unusually for a Middle Eastern elite race there’s no Africans in either the men’s or women’s race (although there is also a Doha marathon this weekend which may help explain?)
Looks like a comfortable win for Mo and it looks like Gemma Steel has a very good chance of winning too.
HM starts same time as the marathon according to the start lists, though doesn’t look like there are too many in the marathon – assuming the start lists are complete and accurate there are only just over 150 in the marathon and just shy of 600 in the half, so not a big event. Bit of a payday really.
Still, Mo’s got a chance to test something more than cruise control if he fancies it, but you’d probably see him with a 2 minute win?