The double Olympic gold medalist will headline the Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Half Marathon in February.
Reigning Olympic 5,000 and 10,000m gold medalist Mo Farah will headline the field at the Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Half Marathon on Sunday, February 24.
“I’m excited to be racing at my first Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in New Orleans. I’ve heard great things about the races and understand that the course is fast and flat. I’m sure that the competition is going to be strong,” said Farah, who owns Great Britain’s fastest half-marathon performance with a personal best time of 1:00:23, set at the 2011 NYC Half Marathon. “I’m over in Kenya training at the moment and will race in the U.K. over 3,000m before I come to the States.”
The 29-year-old was recently honored as the European Athlete of the Year, becoming just the second individual to receive the award for two consecutive years. After becoming a father to twin daughters Aisha and Amani, to who he dedicated each of his gold medals, Farah also received the British Athletics Writers’ Association 2012 ‘Athlete of the Year’ Award.
“It was a fantastic 2012 for me, since my Olympic success it’s been a bit of a whirlwind, but now I’m back training and really looking forward to racing again and seeing where 2013 takes me,” added the European record holder over 5,000m, who owns six national distance records.
New Orleans’ history for record road performances, coupled with its flat, fast course, provides an ideal stage for an assault on more records. At the inaugural Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in New Orleans in 210, two-time Chicago Marathon champion Berhane Adere of Ethiopia ran 1:07:52, whichwas then the fastest half-marathon ever on U.S. soil. That same year the men’s race saw three-time London Marathon champion Martin Lel of Kenya outduel the late Olympic Marathon champion Sammy Wanjiru. New Zealand’s Kim Smith returned in 2011 to set another U.S. all-comer’s record of 1:07:36 in New Orleans, and then lowered her mark to 1:07:11 at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon later that year.
“To attract the likes of Mo Farah to New Orleans demonstrates our commitment to attract the biggest names in the world of running,” said Matthew Turnbull, elite athlete manager of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series. “We’re excited to have one of the stars of London 2012 on the starting line in New Orleans and the recruitment won’t stop with Mo. We have some great talent lined to take him on, along with another Olympic star in the women’s race.”