British distance-running great Mo Farah made headlines two weeks ago when he said he was “considering the feasibility” of a marathon being run in under two hours.
That didn’t mean Farah thought he could be the first sub-two man. Far from it.
“For me to say I can run under two hours is ridiculous,” Farah, the Olympic and world champion in the 5000m and 10,000m told the BBC. “My goals are to run the London Marathon and do the best that I can.”
The marathon world record is 2 hours, three minutes and 23 seconds, set by Kenyan Wilson Kipsang at the Berlin Marathon last month. The previous mark was also set in Berlin, Patrick Makau‘s 2:03:38 in 2011.
Kenyan Dennis Kimetto flirted with the world record at the Chicago Marathon on Sunday, winning in 2:03:45.
Farah plans to make his 26.2-mile debut at the London Marathon on April 13. He told the BBC his time goal is to get close to the British record of 2:07.13 set by Steve Jones of Wales in Chicago in 1985.
“I think in years to come (sub-two hours) is doable, but not in the first marathon,” Farah said.
Farah was also asked about England soccer player Jack Wilshere‘s comments about athletes’ nationalities.
“The only people who should play for England are English people,” Wilshere said last week. “If you live in England for five years it doesn’t make you English. If I went to Spain and lived there for five years I am not going to play for Spain.”
Farah was born in Somalia to a British father and moved to England at age 8. He trains in Oregon but has always competed for Great Britain.
“There’s people out there who switch nationality,” Farah told the BBC. “There’s Kenyan guys who last year or two years ago were running for Kenya and then they switched to Qatar and Bahrain and other countries. Yes I do have a problem with that.”
One of Farah’s 5000m rivals, Bernard Lagat, competed for Kenya at the 2000 and 2004 Olympics and then the U.S. at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics after becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen.
Farah also told Sky Sports he has yet to decide if he will compete at the Commonwealth Games in July and August. That’s a slight departure from a Telegraph report last week that Farah wanted to compete in both the Commonwealth Games and the European Championships, but probably just one event in both.
“I don’t even know if I’m going to do it, the Commonwealths or the Europeans,” Farah told Sky Sports. “It all depends how I come off the marathon, it’s totally different from the track.”
Farah also addressed the potential charity race between him and Usain Bolt.
“I don’t know, we’re still working on that,” he told Sky Sports. “Hopefully it will happen at some point. It would be good for charity but I don’t know if it will happen in one year, two years or whenever.
“It’s just something I said out of the blue – ‘it would be great to do it for charity!’ And now it’s gone worldwide.”