Emile Cairess interview: I've got big ambitions and the first is to break Mo Farah's record

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

For virtually three-quarters of his marathon debut in London last year, Emile Cairess's sole thought was how to catch Mo Farah.

Farah may have finally run his last race but, having eclipsed him on debut, it is Farah that still remains in the sights of Cairess, at least in terms of times.

The 26-year-old from Bradford has been tipped as Britain's next Farah — although more on the road than track — and does not mind the

comparison. He also is plotting to break Farah's British record of 2:05.11, perhaps as soon as Sunday's London Marathon.

"I definitely want to break Mo's record," he said. "I want to run as fast as possible, and I feel like I can run a lot quicker than that. I've got big ambitions."

Capital gains: Cairess during last year's London Marathon in which he beat Farah to finish as the top British athlete (Getty Images)
Capital gains: Cairess during last year's London Marathon in which he beat Farah to finish as the top British athlete (Getty Images)

His primary goal over the 26.2 miles in the capital this weekend is to run his best race possible, the knock-on effect of which could be a British record and also booking his place at the Paris Olympics. He is favourite to be the best of the Brits and, subsequently, the next Mo.

"Obviously it's a nice comparison but I feel like we're completely different athletes," he said. "Like, he was one of the best ever — he absolutely dominated the Olympics and World Champs and I'm never going to reach that level where I can definitively be the best in the world, I can't see myself getting there.

"Also, I feel like a road runner and he was more on the track. It's nice to be compared to him but I don't feel I'm worthy of the comparison."

Farah has been among those to sing the praises of Cairess, his advice simply to keep enjoying the running and working hard. He averages 130 miles a week and relishes the toil of his profession — whether it be the six-week training block he did at altitude in Kenya at the start of the year or the pre-London Marathon sessions back at home.

Cairess had already achieved the qualifying time for Paris but has taken the riskier approach of one more marathon pre-Games after injury forced him to miss Valencia in December.

It's nice being compared with Farah but I don't feel worthy... I can't see myself becoming the world's best

Emile Cairess

"I felt like I couldn't go to the Olympics and perform my best having only done one marathon," he said.

"My goal for this year is to be as competitive as I can in the Olympics so I'm trying to prepare myself in the best way I can. And London fits really well in that. But I'm not going to see the skyline of London thinking about the Olympics."

He argues he is far quicker than he was a year ago in part by having had a heavier block of training and another year's worth of experience, and his cause will be further aided by adidas's latest super shoe, which he wasn't wearing on debut in 2023.

"I've only done one marathon before," he said. "I've definitely progressed a lot because last year I'd been training for a marathon from halfway through January. So, I had about a 12-week build up. Whereas this year, I've essentially been training for a year and 12 weeks. So that makes a big difference.

"And yeah, now my workouts, mileage, anything you can quantify, is better than there was before. So, I'm really happy with the progress that I've made."

The hope is he will join training partner Phil Sesemann, already qualified for Paris having put his job as a doctor on hold, at the Games after Sunday. Last year, Cairess revealed he had had to stop running with Sesemann's marathon-inspired dogs, Kipchoge and Haile, after they tripped him up.

He has acquiesced on their training return ahead of his London return, and, for now, both runner and canine have avoided a collision course.