NEWCASTLE — The Simplyhealth Great North Run proudly announced today the addition of 8 legendary athletes to our elite field in advance of Sunday’s race. These mighty challengers will look to dethrone reigning champion and four-time Olympic gold medalist Sir Mohamed Muktar Jama “Mo” FARAH, Commander of the Order of the British Empire, Protector of the Realm, and Owner of the Dumbest Celebration in Sports. Four years after the historic battle between Farah, Kenenisa Bekele and Haile Gebrselassie, the 2017 edition of the GNR is poised to be yet another meticulously constructed cakewalk for Sir Mo on British soil the most competitive road race in recent memory! Let’s run down our new additions:
Jama ADEN, 55, was personally recruited by Farah to bike alongside him and “hold a stopwatch and shout out times,” as he’s graciously done throughout Sir Mo’s career. Pay no mind to the authorities rummaging through dumpsters outside of his hotel room. Seriously, he’s just here to hold the stopwatch.
John “The Penguin” BINGHAM, 69, is the acclaimed author of popular running tomes such as No Need for Speed and An Accidental Athlete: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Middle Age. Known for his signature waddle, the Penguin is our only elite competitor with a “13.1” bumper sticker affixed to the back of his car, which means he’s a savvy veteran with unparalleled expertise. He may not have Sir Mo’s blazing 3:28 1500m speed, but experience goes a long way in this sport.
Billy CRUDUP, 49, placed fourth in the 1972 Munich Olympics 5,000m while portraying American runner Steve Prefontaine in the 1998 film Without Limits. This will be his half marathon debut. Expect him to make the GNR a “pure guts” race.
Tania Nell FARAH, Sir Mo’s wife, ran 1:49 at last year’s GNR despite taking an unfortunate spill at the finish line. She’s also responsible for the greatest headline in journalism history, so we’re granting her a spot in our formidable elite field. We sincerely hope that you don’t cross paths with her at the airport.
Jake GYLLENHAAL, 36, also represents the Nike Oregon Project and will handle pacing duties through 10 kilometres. The Penguin has demanded a clip of 12:00 per mile, which suits Sir Mo’s infamous sit-and-kick tactics.
Dean KARNAZES, 55, is the coolest, smartest, handsomest dude in running — just ask him! Our elite field would be sorely lacking without his esteemed presence.
Mike ROSSI, 50, is a modern man of (Facebook) letters and known for his literally unbelievable performance at the 2014 Lehigh Valley Marathon. He inspired the wackiest thread in LetsRun history, moonlights as Greater Philadelphia’s hottest DJ, and is renowned for his advanced course-cutting techniques, which threaten to undermine Sir Mo’s dominance. But fear not, fellow Mobots! We’ll have photographers and timing mats at each mile marker to keep him honest.