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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.

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JAAF Announces Last-Chance Olympic Marathon Standards: 2:05:49 and 2:22:22

We hereby announce the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Marathon Team qualifying standards for the MGC Final Challenge.
men: 2:05:49
women: 2:22:22 These times are one second faster than the fastest times run by Japanese men and women within the MGC Race qualifying period. The fastest athlete under these standards at one of the MGC Final Challenge series races will earn the third and final spot on the Tokyo 2020 team following the two to be decided at September's MGC Race. MGC Final Challenge series races:
Men:73rd Fukuoka International MarathonTokyo Marathon 202075th Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon Women:5th Saitama International Marathon39th Osaka International Women's MarathonNagoya Women's Marathon 2020 For more information on the overall Tokyo 2020 Olympic team qualification process please click here.
The official MGC site:  http://www.mgc42195.jp/
source press release:
https://www.jaaf.or.jp/news/article/12712/
translated and edited by Brett Larner

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