15 Dec

Farah Among Favourites

Mo Farah in action

Mo Farah will be looking towards the running community's support to help his bid to win this weekend's BBC Sports Personality of the Year award. However the problem for Mo is that many runners also have a soft spot for Sheffield favourite Jessica Ennis.

The 5,000/10,000m double Olympic champion is among the award favourites as is golden heptathlete Ennis. A further problem is that the pair go up against a shortlist, unrivalled in quality in the prestigious ceremony's 58 year history.

Mo and Jess face ten other UK sporting luminaries in the public vote including cycling's Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins, US Open tennis winner Andy Murray and Olympic legend Sir Chris Hoy, in what has been a remarkable year for British sport.

Some would argue that Farah who was voted third in 2011 behind cyclist Mark Cavendish and golfer Darren Clarke, and Ennis, have the weight of history in their favour with track and field athletes winning the award far more times than competitors from other sports.

Athletics has enjoyed 17 winners, the next best being Formula One with six. The British public have a strong affinity with athletes, particularly with distance runners.

runningguide.com polls across the UK have shown a marked regional variation with Mo Farah prominent on southernrunningguide.com, Jess Ennis attracting lots of support on northernrunningguide.com and Andy Murray challenging for top spot on scottishrunningguide.com. However the one area of consistency is that Bradley Wiggins has topped all three of our mini polls, averaging around a third of the vote. Further evidence of Wiggo's likely success is that he is a strong odds-on favourite with the bookmakers, always a telling sign.

The awards take place tomorrow (Sunday 16 December) at London Excel and will be televised live on BBC1.