British Superstar Runner Mo Farah Runs His Final Competitive Race


With every sport, there are a few iconic legends that every young athlete in the sport as well as the population at large look up to with almost universal awe and admiration.

For example, you have someone like Michael Jordan for basketball, Serena Williams or Andrew Agassi in tennis, or players like Jack Nicklaus or Tiger Woods in golf.

As runners, we have our legends, too. There are runners like Roger Bannister, the first runner to break the 4-minute barrier in the mile, and Meb Keflezighi, the Eritrean-American long-distance runner, to name just two.

Another true legend that typifies and fully encapsulates what it means to be a runner is undoubtedly the four-time Olympic gold medalist, British runner Sir Mo Farah.

After what can only be described as a stunning running career, the incredible British runner finally graced the world with his last competitive running performance yesterday, running the 2023 Great North Run.

The Great North Run half marathon, which sees about 50,000 runners compete along the course from Newcastle to South Shields was arguably the perfect official sign-off for Sir Mo Farrah’s tremendous running career.

Although the enthusiastic crowds cheered and celebrated all of the participants as they closed in on the finish line, there was nothing quite as hair-raising in an emotionally evocative way as the roar and collective ovation that exploded when not only Great Britain’s favorite runners—but also one of the international favorites at large and forever greatest runners of all time—Mo Farah came through the final stretch of the Great North Run.

With the same grace, charisma, and class that Sir Mo Farah has always exuded, the four-time Olympian showed his acknowledgment and appreciation for not only the fans who were present but also those who were watching from home.

With smiles and his beautiful running stride, Mo Farah lifted his right hand in salute as he approached the finish line of the 2023 Great North Run.

Ultimately, the entire scene of the crowds cheering the runner to his fourth-place finish, waving handmade race signs sporting the words, “Go Mo Go!”, can only be described as a beautiful way to tie a bow on 40-year-old Sir Mo Farah’s inspiring competitive running career.

He didn’t need to win the 2023 Great North Run half marathon (13.1 miles) race for everyone to know that was the athlete we were all cheering for.

To this end, most pre-race coverage didn’t even expect Farah to necessarily be “in the running” for the title of the 2023 Great North Run winner, even though Farah has previously won the famous Great North Run half marathon six times!

The tremendous crowd support wasn’t for Sir Mo Farah’s 2023 Great North Run half marathon performance per se.

Instead, the illustrious running career Mo Farah has built speaks for itself (and hey, fourth place in such a massive half marathon as a Masters Runner is impressive in its own right!).

While runner Mo Farah has certainly had his ups and downs during his running career, and particularly in more recent years, every runner has, and furthermore, no British athlete has yet come close to the career victories and medals garnered by Sir Mo Farah. 

Mo Farah has built a running resume that boasts 17 major titles on the track and set national records from 1500m event up to the marathon—and who can forget—not one, not two, not three, but four Olympic gold medals.

Aside from all of the race wins and medals that Mo Farah has accumulated over his career as a competitive distance runner, perhaps nothing is as important and meaningful as the integrity with which Farah competed in a sport that seems to be increasingly marred by doping and cheating.

Despite Mo Farah being coached by the renowned American coach, Alberto Salazar, who himself was subsequently banned for doping offenses in his coaching career alongside other very concerning allegations of misconduct, Mo Farah never once failed a drug test or raised issues with rigorous drug testing.

In fact, he seemed to welcome it, happy to prove his commitment to competing with the highest level of integrity and conducting himself as a role model for other runners around the world.

Overall, we will miss watching one of the greatest running legends of all time—and certainly the best British distance runner yet—but we wish nothing but the best for continued health and happiness for Mo Farah in his life off the race course.

As for Sir Mo Farah’s impact on the running world?

That plays out in small and big ways every single day, and we are confident that just because he has hung up his competitive running shoes, Mo Farah will continue to inspire runners across the spectrum, spanning all ages and ability levels around the world.

Even if you get out there and just start with a walk today, or you have five, 10, or 20 miles on your training schedule, take a moment to reflect on the running career of Mo Farah and maybe set your own running goal that you’ve been scared to commit to. You can do it.

If it is a race distance that you would like to train for, check out some of our free training programs here.

From all of us at Marathon Handbook, congratulations on a stunning running career, Mo Farah!

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Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a NASM-Certified Nutrition Coach and UESCA-certified running, endurance nutrition, and triathlon coach. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

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