By Chris Lotsbom
(24-Jan) -- Earlier Thursday, the Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon announced that double Olympic champion Mo Farah will race the fourth edition of the event on Sunday, February 24 in Louisiana.
"I'm excited to be racing at my first Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon in New Orleans," said Farah, 29, in a statement from race organizers. "I've heard great things about the races and understand that the course is fast and flat. I'm sure that the competition is going to be strong."
Currently training in Kenya, the Alberto Salazar-coached Farah will be looking to improve upon his personal best of 1:00:23, set at the NYC Half in 2011. Farah's win in New York City -- the fastest time ever run by a Briton -- came in his debut half-marathon.
After racing the 3000m at the British Athletics Grand Prix in Birmingham on February 16, Farah plans to return to the United States, where he has previously trained in Portland, Ore., as part of the Oregon Distance Project. Racing the Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon, Farah can expect a fast and flat course which is below sea level, perfect for setting records. The event record stands at 1:01:07, set by Martin Lel in 2010, while the United States all-comers mark is Matthew Kipkoech's 58:46, run in Philadelphia in 2011.
"To attract the likes of Mo Farah to New Orleans demonstrates our commitment to attract the biggest names in the world of running," said Matthew Turnbull, Elite Athlete Manager of the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series, in a statement. "We're excited to have one of the stars of London 2012 on the starting line in New Orleans and the recruitment won't stop with Mo, as we have some great talent lined up to take him on, along with another Olympic star in the women's race."
Farah's lone prior half-marathon was his win in New York City nearly two years ago. Since then, the father of three has earned a pair of gold medals and become one of the most recognizable faces in all of athletics.