Britain’s Sir Mo Farah, who recently finished fifth at the Virgin Money London Marathon, has confirmed he will defend his Bank of America Chicago Marathon title on October 13. He will face 2017 winner Galen Rupp, who had foot surgery after finishing fifth last year. The news briefly raised an interesting question in light of speculation that Farah might race the 10,000m at this year’s World Championships, but he has confirmed he will be focussing on the roads this season.
I am returning to the Chicago Marathon on 13 Oct. Winning there last year and breaking the European record was special. Having discussed with my team and to ensure I have the best chance of achieving this goal, my focus for 2019 will be solely on the roads. #OneMoMile pic.twitter.com/egCoCxaLKA
— Sir Mo Farah (@Mo_Farah) May 9, 2019
Chicago was Farah’s first marathon victory. His 2:05:11 was a new European and British record.
Farah won gold in the 10,000m at the 2017 world championships, and several comments over the past year led some to speculate he might be planning to compete at this year’s world championships in Doha. London’s Guardian newspaper ran the headline “Farah ends return to track speculation by opting for Chicago Marathon,” but LetsRun’s Jonathan Gault briefly speculated on the prospect of his doing both.
Gault tweeted earlier today that the 10,000m final in Doha is scheduled for October 6, exactly one week before the Chicago Marathon, and that it wouldn’t be the first time someone has performed well in both the 10,000m and the marathon within a week–Rupp himself did exactly that at the 2016 Olympics, winning the bronze medal in the marathon one week after finishing fifth in the 10,000m final (which was won by Farah). Just last month, Emily Sisson of the US ran her first marathon at London in the quickest debut since Jordan Hasay’s at Boston in 2017, one week after winning the 10,000m at the Stanford Invitational in the third-fastest American performance of all time.
Also, the Guardian reported on May 1 (three days after the London Marathon) that Farah had declined to race the marathon at the world championships, fuelling speculation that he was still considering the 10,000m.
But in this case it would be almost impossible (and definitely unwise) because of the long-distance travel that would be necessary, involving many hours on an airplane and an eight-hour time difference between Doha and Chicago. Clearly Farah realizes he’s only human, after all.