New York, New York — The story was The Fall and The Faint, but what struck me, and several other veteran observers of the distance running game, was The Form.
Mo Farah’s hopes were derailed in yesterday’s 9th TCS New York City Half Marathon after his heel was accidently clipped from behind, causing the double Olympic track champion from Great Britain to tumble hard to the pavement as the lead pack neared the six mile mark in Central Park. Farah’s spill abruptly ended the highly anticipated showdown between him and two-time New York City Marathon champion Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya just as their engagement was about to ignite. The two had come to New York to test themselves as a final tuneup for the April 13th Virgin Money London Marathon.
As soon as Mo went down it sent a current through the rest of the pack, jolting Mutai and fellow Kenyan Stephan Sambu ahead into a lead that, for Mutai, developed into a winning margin.
And, though banged up on his right knee and shoulder, and “seeing stars”, Mo rallied nicely over the final seven miles (12km) to run down Sambu in the final mile (2km) to take second place just 17-seconds behind the victorious Mutai (60:50). But to my eye the fall didn’t affect the probable outcome, nor the prospects for April 13th. I still think Geoffrey Mutai would have won yesterday’s race, and that Mo will find his transition from track champion to marathon star more difficult than some might expect. (more…)