Great Britain’s Olympic, world and European 5000m and 10,000m champion Mo Farah will open his 2015 outdoor campaign at the EDP Lisbon Half Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race, on Sunday 22 March.
“We are very proud to have Mo in this race for the first time,” said race organiser Carlos Moia, who has assembled a small but classy elite field that he wants to attack the world record of 58:23 set by Eritrea’s Zerzenay Tadese on the same course in 2010.
Farah has a personal best of 1:00:00, which he set when winning at the 2014 Bupa Great North Run in the north of England.
Among his rivals in the Portuguese capital will be Kenya’s Stephen Kibet (personal best of 58:54) and Silas Kipruto (59:39), Ethiopia’s Guye Adola (59:06) and Morocco’s Aziz Lahbabi (59:25).
In the women's race, Portuguese record holder Dulce Felix, who has a best of 1:08:32, will take on Kenya’s London 2012 Olympic Games marathon silver medallist Priscah Jeptoo.
The elite athletes will just be to the fore of a race that embraces tens of thousands of runners.
“In 1991, the first year, we had 3973 athletes; this year we have 34,000," added Moia proudly.
Phil Minshull and organisers for the IAAF