Bobby Curtis ran a strong second in the 2 mile to double Olympic gold medalist Mo Farah today at the Great North City Games in Newcastle/Gateshead, England. In so doing, Curtis came home ahead of Australian Olympians Collis Birmingham and Ryan Gregson. As described below, the race was a two-loop road circuit, with at least two substantial hills per loop. As a result, the times were not noteworthy (for example, Curtis ran 14 seconds faster over two miles on the track earlier this summer, and Collis Birmingham has a track two-mile PR of 8:17). The meet was televised live by the BBC throughout the UK. So, two nice performances by Curtis over the past week (he set a 3000 meter PR of 7:43 last weekend in Rieti). He'll run the BUPA Great North Run Half Marathon tomorrow, hopefully with fresh legs.
Great North City Games 2 miles
1. MO FARAH GBR 08:40.0 2. BOBBY CURTIS USA 08:42.8 3. COLLIS BIRMINGHAM AUS 08:43.0 4. RYAN GREGSON AUS 08:48.4 5. AYAD LAMDASSEM ESP 09:02.7 6. PAUL ROBINSON IRE 09:21.0 7. RUI SILVA POR 09:29.1 8. JASON SIMPSON USA 09:51.1
Here's how today's race was described by Larry Elder of Run Blog Run:
The distance races, the mile and two mile were loops around the city center (two for the two mile), with a strong hill around 1000 meters and across the Millenium Bridge, which rises twice a day (a site to see).
Mo Farah, who was beat after the London Olympics, and now the birth of his twin daughters, Aisha and Amani in late August, dreamed of a relaxed race with, probably a group of senior citizens for his last race of the season. However, Collis Birmingham, fresh off a 7:37 PB for 3,000 meters took Mo through 4:10 in the mile. Mo Farah waited until 500 meters to go, and right on the Sling Bridge, took off, winning in 8:40.0, with Bobby Curtis of the US taking Birmingham out of second place, Curtis running 8:42.8. "Collis was tough today, and I had cut back in my training, " noted Mo Farah, happy his season was over. " It is a great event and I wanted to see the fans who brought their kids out to see me today."