25 Sep

London Must Reunite Three Kings

Bekele beats Farah

Phew! I don't know about you, but that Great North Run left me breathless. Half marathons do that to a man, but I didn't even take part in this one. Watching the race on TV was enough.

What a race it was at the front end as three kings collided. The battle between track legends Mo Farah, Kenenisa Bekele and Haile Gebrselassie had been given a huge build up and it lived up to every expectation. It is rare in sport that an event lives up to the hype, but this time it did.

It was a fascinating tussle which saw Bekele win after a tactical masterstroke of going for broke with one mile left. It paid off. Just. Farah reeled him in and closed to just one second at the finish.

The four-times Olympic gold medallist Bekele broke the tape in a scorching 60:09, with his fellow Ethiopian running legend Gebreselassie finishing third in 60:41, itself a record for a 40 year old. It was a stupendous race in its own right, but has left fans of the sport wanting more; this time over the marathon distance.

And where better than in London next April? Home hero Farah has already signed up for the 2014 Virgin London Marathon after running half of this year's race as an experiment.

With Bekele now seemingly intent on road running after a glorious track career, London Marathon race organisers are now surely deep in negotiation to bring together the two giants for an almighty re-match on the streets of the capital next spring.

For the perfect brew, Gebrselassie must also be added to the mix. Twice Olympic 10,000m gold medallist, The Little Emporer is a former world record holder in the marathon. He has never really shone in the London Marathon, his best finish being third back in 2002.

Perhaps then, he still has unfinished business with the race and at a distance like the marathon - over which neither Farah or Bekele have ever raced - his experience could be invaluable.

Other names who should be invited are Olympic and World champion Stephen Kiprotich, world record holder Patrik Makau and defending champion Tsegaye Kebede. None of them household names, but must-haves for the 2014 London Marathon.

British supporters will be thirsting for a Farah victory, but no one wants it to be a parade for the hometown boy. He must earn the right to be crowned in the kingdom of marathon running.

Next year the ingredients could be right for not only the greatest London Marathon in history, but potentially the greatest distance race of all-time. Just one last request from this greedy running fan to race organisers - a London swansong for Paula Radcliffe?