Double European medallist to step up in distance for his third half-marathon

Andy Vernon is set to compete in the Bupa Great North Run on September 7 after his medal-winning exploits at the European Championships.

The 10,000m silver medallist and 5000m bronze medallist in Zurich will be hoping to beat the 65:45 he ran in the 2011 edition of the Newcastle to Gateshead race. The only other half-marathon he has done was the 2009 Bristol Half-marathon when he clocked 64:43.

In the Great North Run, Vernon will race alongside Mo Farah, who had already been confirmed for the event. However, the half-marathon could be the longest distance that Vernon ever runs as earlier this year he ruled out a step up to the marathon in future, saying his frame is too big for the event.

Vernon was delighted on Sunday to pick up his second medal of the championships behind Farah.

“I’m tired now! But I’m delighted,” said Vernon, who had suffered with injury in the run-up to the championships. “To think only eight or nine weeks ago I might not have started these races and now I’ve done two championships and won two medals.”

Vernon will also appear alongside Farah at the Sainsbury’s Birmingham Grand Prix on August 24 as the pair race over two miles, the event being Farah’s first on a UK track in 2014. Emmanuel Bett, Bashir Abdi, Hassan Mead and Zane Robertson are also included in the line-up.