“The critical bit of information that you need to know is that when Mo stands on the start line, he believes he can run faster than anyone else in that race. He believes he can run the last 400m faster than anyone in that race. He believes he could run the last kilometre faster than anyone in that race. He believes he could lift any weight in the gym that anyone wanted to – as a comparison with anyone on the start line – better, faster and heavier. He believes that if he had to fight anyone there he could kick the shit out of them. That’s what owning the start line is.” Neil Black, British Athletics’ Performance Director.
Here in the country that beat the mighty China to second place in the Olympic medal table, we’re all feeling pretty chuffed. Our girls, boys and horses did us proud, and of course they did themselves proud in Rio.
The magnificent Mo Farah took a tumble in the 10000m, but got up and went on to win, and then he took gold in the 5000m. Watching him is a real education in winning. He starts at the back, he makes his move, then regulates his pace. And as the bell for the final lap goes, so does he, his opponents don’t see him for dust. That kick, that stride, that speed, on my goodness, he’s an inspiration.
Come September 11, I’ll be lining up with 200 others at the start line, ready to run the tough and over-long half marathon that is the Yorkshireman. I won’t be owning the start line, or believing I can run it any faster than anyone else, and I’m certainly not planning on sprinting to the finish, dammit, it’s uphill! As usual, I’ll be aiming not to be last, but by gum, I’ll have such a spring in my stride as I relive those magical Mo moments in my head.