Ten-time global track champion enjoys the idea of coaching the next generation of British distance runners
After waving his final goodbyes to competitive action at the Great North Run, Mo Farah has planned to take a breath. He will spend some time with his family as he weighs up what his next steps might be.
Unlike some of athletics’ greats, the 10-time global gold medallist doesn’t appear to want to become disconnected from his sport. Quite the opposite, in fact.
As he spoke with AW in the run-up to the penultimate road race of his career, The Big Half, the 40-year-old was still weighing up his options.
He admitted to being inspired by events at the World Championships in Budapest, but he has left sizeable shoes to fill. While Eilish McColgan and Jess Warner-Judd can regularly be found in the showpiece 5000m and 10,000m events, Britain has yet to unearth a male athlete who could potentially fill the gaping hole.
Many believed Alex Yee could be that successor, but it’s difficult to see the Olympic star ever being fully prised away from triathlon. Perhaps that is where Farah could be best served – in helping to nurture the next generation.
A topic of conversation in Budapest was a failure to make the most of the former champions and the four-time Olympic gold medallist, who has taken his coaching qualifications, certainly wants to get involved.
Just as he was inspired into the sport by the likes of his old PE teacher Alan Watkinson, could he play a part in attracting new names to athletics? There is certainly a font of knowledge and experience to be accessed.
“Young athletes inspire me,” he says. “When I was watching the British team in Budapest there were a lot of athletes that inspired me to stay in the sport and get involved in it more than ever.
“You see how far they’ve come, what they’re missing and what changes they need to become a better athlete and achieve more medals.
“I’d still loved to get involved with the sport and being able to give back to the community and younger kids. I was inspired by somebody and it’s how we inspire them.
“First, I’ll take a bit of a break but I’ve got the right people behind me and the correct support. We’ll make some decisions about what I want to do. As you know, though, I’m not somebody to sit still and I want to find something to do, whatever that challenge will be.”
As we reported in the June…