Mo Farah has been named as the honorary starter for the Bupa Great North Run weekend. Farah, set to make his debut at the half marathon event, will be charged with giving 1,500 runners their starting orders (and occasional high fives) for the Great North 5k on Saturday 15 September.
The double world and Olympic champion will then look ahead to a much-anticipated battle with Haile Gebrselassie and Kenenisa Bekele. It is the first time the trio have competed together and will be an intriguing test for Farah as he prepares to make the step-up to marathon distance in April.
On being announced as the starter of for the weekend, Farah commented: "I might not have to high five as many people as I did when I helped start the Bupa Great North Run the last two years, but it will be great fun to offer runners encouragement and support at the event."
In further news from the Great North event, Ethiopia's Meseret Dafar has confirmed she will be competing, setting up a head-to-head with compatriot Tirunesh Dibaba. The pair were kept apart in Moscow, and, with Dibaba winning last year's race in 67:35 and Dafar boasting a PB of 67:25, the female competition is also shaping up nicely.