Mo Farah has confessed he is “addicted” to running and set his sights on a feat he feels would rival almost anything he has achieved in his glittering career.
Britain’s most decorated athlete switched to the roads after winning 10 global titles on the track, including the long distance double at successive Olympics.
At the time it seemed it was little more than a postscript to his decade spent schooling the world’s best over 5,000 and 10,000m.
But in the space of three races he has gone from being not able to pick up the correct drinks bottle to breaking the British and European records – and winning the Chicago Marathon.
Beating three-time London champion Eliud Kipchoge on the streets of his home city is a major step up even on that and would be hard enough if he was two years younger, rather than older, than the world record holder.
Yet Farah said: “No matter what race I turn up to, I want to go and win it, I want to go out there and put on a great performance.
“I’ve learned over the years no matter what race it is – or if I’m playing computer games with my kids – I just have that fight in me where I want to just win everything.”
Farah’s problem is that Kipchoge does win everything. All bar one of his 11 marathons he has captured. The one he lost took a world record to beat him.
His British rival knows that but refuses to be beaten before he steps onto the start line given that winning London has been his dream since he raced the mini marathon as a kid.
“Winning on Sunday would be massive, one of my biggest achievements,” Farah said. “If I compare that to what I achieved in my career it would definitely be up there for sure.
“For me the best thing I have achieved in life is being able to win (the Olympics) in 2012 in my home town.
“And then, another four years later, being able to defend that and do it again. Now it’s like ‘what is the next step, what is possible?’
“You’re not going to go down the bookies saying ‘Mo Farah is going to win this’. However, I believe that anything can happen and I know I have given myself the best chance by being able to get away from home, get up in the mountains and put the work in.”
Despite 36 years on the clock the Somali-born Londoner remains so driven that only a fool would put a ceiling on his road potential.
“When I started running it was just something I enjoyed, a hobby that later became a job,” he said. “I still enjoy it, I would most likely say I’m addicted to it.
“Sometimes when you do take a break you realise you don’t know what to do with yourself. I’m like, ‘What do I do, what do I do? Hmm I do miss it!’
“In order for me to be able to achieve my goals you have to be willing to work harder and put the miles in. I don’t do anything by half, I just kind of go all out or nothing.”