Why Sir Mo Farah loves to be beside the South Shields seaside as he looks forward to Great North Run

Sir Mo Farah says the South Shields seafront is his favourite part of the Great North Run course.

Friday, 6th September 2019, 4:26 pm
Updated Friday, 6th September 2019, 5:15 pm

Speaking ahead of his sixth Great North Run on Sunday, the five-times winner said: “The last mile and a half I enjoy the most, along the seafront.

“What I enjoy most is the support from the crowd.

“You have so many people out – if you are feeling good at mile 12, you know the rest will take care of itself.”

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Sir Mo Farah does the iconic Mobot in the shadow of the Tyne Bridge

He believes the passionate backing from spectators is crucial to the event’s success: “I think it is very important to the atmosphere. The community come out as one and the support you get is incredible – you don’t get that in London.

“Everyone is so positive. They are very proud of the Great North Run.”

Sir Mo himself can’t wait for Sunday: “I just enjoy this race so much,” he said.

“I am always very excited about coming back for the Great North Run.”

Sir Mo Farah and wife Tania, who will also be taking part in this year's Great North Run

The run used to be a nice wind-down after the World Championships, but since Britain’s most successful ever athlete started running longer distances, that is no longer the case: “Since I started running marathons, I use it to test myself,” he said.

And he paid tribute to Great North Run founder – Brendan Foster – for helping him become a winner

“Brendan was very honest with me early on in my career,” he said.

“The thing he said was ‘Believe in your ‘kick’. Don’t go too early’.”

2019 Great North Run athletes ahead of the event. From left Jonnie Peacock, Mary Jepkosgei Keitant, Allyson Felix, Charlotte Purdue, Tania Farah and Sir Mo Farah

This is the third year wife Sir Mo’s wife Tania will be taking part.

“I definitely want to beat my time from last year,” she said.

“I did it in 1.44.59 and my target was 1.45, so I was pretty pleased with that.”

Tania, who runs with Gateshead gym owner Charmaine Ho, has been amazed by the atmosphere of the run.

“The feedback from the crowd is unreal,” she said.

“There is nothing like it in any race I have ever been to – there is nothing like the Great North Run.

“The crowds just lift you and even the runners next to you are cheering you on.”