Mo Farah Stands To Earn Record Appearance Fee For Two-Race London Marathon Deal
Olympic Gold Medalist runner Mo Farah said that he "will run half the London Marathon this year, before stepping up to debut over the full distance" in '14, according to Anna Kessel of the London GUARDIAN. Farah has always been "open about his desire to try out the feted course," and on April 21 he will "run alongside a stellar list of names." On the start line with Farah will be the marathon's world record holder, Patrick Makau, Olympic champion Stephen Kiprotich, world champion Abel Kirui, reigning London champion Wilson Kipsang and course record holder Emmanuel Mutai. Asked if he might be tempted to change his mind mid-race and go the full distance, Farah said: "No, there's no chance. I have a plan to go to halfway and that will be it -- even if I'm tempted to finish, even if I feel great. My plan's just to run the half, get good experience and look forward to 2014" (GUARDIAN, 2/16).
BREAKING THE BANK: In London, Rick Broadbent reported Farah is "still guaranteed to set one world record." Farah stands to earn more than £500,000 ($776,000) for a two-race deal that "allows him to dip his toe into this year’s event before making his full debut in London in a year’s time." London chiefs refused to confirm reports that he could earn as much as £750,000 ($1.1M) from the deal. However, it "seems more likely that he will smash the record for the highest appearance fee," which is around £250,000 ($388,000) paid to English distance runner Paula Radcliffe. Farah will "see his earnings pass the half-million mark thanks to Virgin add-ons." More significant than the money is the fact London Marathon organizers are "threatening to upset the elite field." None of what the organizers billed as the best field ever assembled "will get anything like Farah’s sum" (LONDON TIMES, 2/17).
DOWN THE ROAD: Also in London, Andrew Longmore reported Farah's coach, Alberto Salazar said that his runner "could target a 10,000m and marathon double" at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. Salazar: "We will look at the schedule, but if the 10,000m is first, he would go 10,000m and marathon." That feat has only been achieved by Czech Emil Zatopek, who also won the 5,000m at the 1952 Helsinki Games (SUNDAY TIMES, 2/17).