Mohammed Ahmed of St. Catharines, Ont. will compete in the Diamond League 5,000m final in Brussels on Friday. Ahmed is the Canadian 5,000m, 10,000m and 3,000m record-holder, with a personal best of 13:01.74 in the 5,000m.
The 27-year-old runner is ready to compete this weekend in one of the most anticipated meets of the season. “My goal is to just compete. There are a lot of things that are unknown about a race like this. I don’t really know how it’s going to play out.”
He continues, “No one has broken 13 minutes in the 5,000m this year, and the guys in this race are looking to change that. If the race goes out fast, I’d definitely like to go sub-13. I’m in shape to do that.”
So we’re clear, Ahmed running a sub-13 5,000m would break his own Canadian record, and add another accolade to his already exceptional running career.
Despite his great success on the track, the runner has never won silver or gold in a Diamond League race. “The top six or seven guys in the 5,000m have just been going back and forth this season,” Ahmed says. “I haven’t been able to crack the top three. I’ve had a good month of training. Now I’m just trying to keep the body in one piece and go out there with an open mind. One of my biggest goals is to get a Diamond League win. I’ve been third and fourth in the Diamond League. I’ve been everything except the top two places.”
Ahmed has had a good season thus far, but he’s ready for a great race. He was fourth in the Prefontaine Classic two-mile, and second in the Commonwealth Games 10,000m. “With the accumulation of mileage I’ve been doing, hopefully a different result will come,” he says. “London wasn’t really that great for me, and I was tactically off in some of my other races. I also wasn’t as sharp as I am now.”
Ahmed says that he trains for the big races: the Commonwealth Games, the Diamond League final and the Continental Cup. He says his coach, Jerry Schumacher, gets him and his Bowerman teammates ready for those events, and he’s ready to go.
After the Continental Cup, Ahmed will take some well earned down-time. “I’ll go home and take a few weeks off–take my mind off of training. When you’re not running, you quickly stop thinking about training and the grind.”
He jokes that Tim Horton’s is his off-season weakness. “It’s a nostalgia thing. Every time I fly from Portland to Vancouver I have to go to Tim Horton’s.”
Catch Ahmed on Friday, August 31st in the Brussels Diamond League 5,000m final at 3:22 p.m. EDT.