Skip to main content

Mo Farah Scores Greatest Victory of His Career


by Brett Larner
photos by Tsukasa Kawarai


In a career teeming to overflow with double medals at the Olympics and World Championships and an unprecedented triple crown of Great North Run wins earned to varying degrees, Great Britain's Mo Farah staked the ultimate claim to the title of Greatest of All Time with the single most important victory of his career, a win at Saturday's Akasaka 5-Chome Mini Marathon.


Running on a hilly 900 m four-loop course around and through broadcaster TBS' Akasaka studios as part of its semi-annual All-Star Kanshasai variety show, Farah overcame a 5 minute, 55 second handicap start to run down a cavalcade of Japan's finest models and comedians for the win, catching the last trio led by entertainer Kenji Moriwaki on the final uphill run up to the studio.


Farah covered the 3.6 km course in roughly 13:40.  His win was a shot across the bows of Kenenisa Bekele and Eliud Kipchoge and a message to them and to all other pretenders: anyone can win an Olympic gold medal or skim sub-2:03 territory in London or Berlin, but you haven't really made it until you're the king of Akasaka.


photos © 2016 Tsukasa Kawarai, all rights reserved
text © 2016 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Comments

TokyoRacer said…
I agree. Akasaka is tougher than the Olympics. In the Olympics, you don't have to give anyone a handicap.
Anonymous said…
Brett- thank you for enlightening me! As a Brit having been in Tokyo for precisely one hour last night, I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me when I saw Farah barely 30 yards away running around a city block with what we call random punters. A quick visit here (which I originally learned of via Marathon Talk's Martin and Tom) quickly set me straight. Great blog.

Most-Read This Week

Former Coach Koide on Hara's Arrest: "She Was Really F*cking Serious"

A World Championships marathoner was arrested for shoplifting. On Aug. 17 The Tochigi Prefectural Police Ashikaga Department arrested temp worker Yumiko Hara, 35, on suspicion of stealing skin lotion and other items from a convenience store.

Yoshio Koide, Hara's former coach at the Universal Entertainment corporate team and head of the Saku Athlete Club, was surprised by the events. "She trained harder than anybody," Koide said. "She never missed training, and she was really f*cking serious. I think there must have been a reason for her to commit shoplifting, but she was always a normal kind of girl who would say, "Yes!" when you told her to do something. When she retired she said, 'I've done what I could but I just can't run the way I want to.' I haven't spoken to her since she quit, but it's very unfortunate news and I can't understand it."

source article:https://www.nikkansports.com/general/nikkan/news/1873808.html
translat…

World Championships Marathoner Yumiko Hara Arrested for Shoplifting Cosmetics

Former World Championships marathoner Yumiko Hara, 35, was arrested on suspicion of shoplifting cosmetics and other goods. A resident of Ashikaga, Tochigi, Hara is suspected of shoplifting eight items including cosmetics and soft drinks with a total value of 2700 yen [~$25 USD] from a local convenience store on July 30. According to police, a clerk performing a store inventory found that the item totals did not match. When police reviewed security camera footage they identified Hara as a suspect.

Hara represented Japan at two World Championships, finishing 6th in the marathon at the 2005 Helsinki World Championships. During her interrogation Hara admitted her guilt in the charges, saying that there was "no mistake."
Translator's note: Along with the 2005 Helsinki World Championships and 2007 Osaka World Championships, Hara represented Japan at the 2003 Vilamoura World Half Marathon Championships. She was the winner of both the 2007 Osaka International Women's Maratho…

Kobayashi Wins London Bronze Without Hakone Experience While Hakone Veteran Kawauchi Fails to Make Top 8

The World Championships in athletics were first held in Helsinki, Finland in 1983. Up until the 1991 Tokyo World Championships they were held once every four years, but beginning with the 1993 Stuttgart World Championships they switched to an every other year format. London this year was the 16th edition. To date 68 men with Hakone Ekiden experience have competed in the World Championships, with three of them winning medals in the marathon.

In Tokyo in 1991 Hiromi Taniguchi became the first Japanese World Championships gold medalist, raising the excitement level at the games.  As a student at Nittai University Taniguchi had won the Hakone Ekiden's downhill Sixth Stage three years in a row from 1981 to 1983. As a fourth-year in 1983 he set a new stage record of 57:47. Course changes have rendered his record an historical artifact, but Taniguchi is still considered Hakone's greatest downhill runner.

At the 1999 Seville World Championships and 2005 Helsinki World Championships, …