A Win By Mo Farah On April 14th Would Be The Greatest Achievement Of His Career
January 14, 2014
The 2014 elite men’s field for the 2014 Virgin Money London Marathon was announced today. You can read the official London press release or a RRW article on the full field here or see the full elite field below. After that, see our six quick thoughts.
Geoffrey Mutai (KEN), 2:03:02*
Wilson Kipsang (KEN), 2:03:23 WR
Emmanuel Mutai (KEN), 2:03:52
Ayele Abshero (ETH), 2:04:23
Feyisa Lilesa (ETH), 2:04:32
Tsegaye Kebede (ETH), 2:04:38
Stanley Biwott (KEN), 2:05:12
Marilson dos Santos (BRA), 2:06:34
Martin Mathathi (KEN), 2:07:16
Stephen Kiprotich (UGA), 2:07:20
Samuel Tsegay (ERI), 2:07:28
Mustapha El Aziz (MAR), 2:07:55
Amanuel Mesel (ERI), 2:08:17
Scott Overall (GBR), 2:10:55
Ryan Vail (USA), 2:11:45
Mo Farah (GBR), Debut**
Ibrahim Jeilan (ETH), Debut
Chris Thompson (GBR), Debut
Ben Livesey (GBR), Debut
Quick Take #1: London as always comes through with a fantasy type field.
Any conspiracy theories that things would be set up for an easy heart-warming victory by the Brit Farah can officially be extinguished. Last year, when the London field was announced, we raved about the fact that it featured the course record holders at all five of the marathon majors in the same race (Tokyo hadn’t happened yet as a major).
This year’s field is crazy strong too. It includes course record holders from four majors Berlin (Kipsang), Boston (G. Mutai), London (E. Mutai), New York (G. Mutai) plus the course record holder in Dubai which probably should be considered a major (Abshero 2:04:23), plus the reigning Olympic and world champ Stephen Kiprotich and the greatest current track runner Mo Farah.
Quick Take #2: With Farah getting big, big bucks, it’s no surprise that last year’s field was a little deeper.
As stacked as the list is above, it’s may be hard to believe but our research shows that the 2013 field was even a little bit deeper. All together there were 11 sub 2:06 guys in the London field last year, yes 11, versus seven this year. But add in Farah and you more than make up for any drop in numbers with story telling. It’s unlikely the 8th sub 2:06 guy would win anyway.
London 2013 vs 2014
#sub 2:05 (cumulative)
#sub 2:06 (cumulative)
#sub 2:07 (cumulative)
# sub 2:08 (cumulative)
Quick Take #3: If Farah wins in London, it will be the greatest single achievement of his career.
Some may think the previous sentence is absurd given the fact he’s a double Olympic champion, but think about it objectively. In a track 10,000, how many people realistically have any shot of beating Farah? Two or three? In London, there are easily six or sevent others who could very easily win.
Plus Farah, who has modest pbs for a 5-time track gold medallist of 12:53/26:46 on the track, has never proven himself in all out war of attrition in a race against the clock even at 10,000, let alone at 42,194.988 meters.
But there is hope for Farah fans, see point #4.
Quick Take #4: Who isn’t running London 2014 and is therefore left for Tokyo/Boston/Dubai? Plenty of people.
As loaded as London is, here is a crazy stat for you. The above list of names for 2014 London only includes TWO of the 13 fastest men in 2013. Hard to believe.
The World’s Sub 2:06 Guys in 2013
Bold = running 2014 London
The biggest name missing is Dennis Kimetto – the reigning Chicago and Tokyo Marathon champion and course record holder at both events. He was recently ranked #2 in the world for 2013 in the men’s marathon. Also TFN’s #1 for 2013, Lelisa Desisa, the reigning Boston and Dubai champ isn’t on the list either.
Quick Take #5: Mo Farah isn’t the only stud debuting in London.
Farah’s old nemesis – Ibrahim Jeilan – the man who beat Farah in the 10,000 at Worlds in 2011 and was runner-up to him in 2013 is debuting as well.
Quick Take #6: American Ryan Vail is running.
Vail has a 2:11:45 pb. If he breaks 2:10:00, he’ll be the
38th 17th American in history to accomplish the feat. Here is a list of the sub-2:10 men in history from 2011 (add Dathan Ritzenhein to the list).