After a whirlwind few weeks, Mo Farah has decided to step down in distance on the weekend of the Bupa Great North Run and turn his attention to an invitational 2 mile event which has been added to the Great North CityGames schedule on the NewcastleGateshead Quayside on the Saturday afternoon.

Farah, who won gold in both the 5,000 and 10,000 metres at London 2012, has recently celebrated the arrival of twin daughters which has been an understandable distraction from his training commitments for the half marathon distance.

After taking part in what is expected to be a celebratory atmosphere on the Saturday afternoon, in front of thousands of spectators and a live BBC television audience, Farah will be on hand to assist four other gold medallists from London 2012 with honorary starting duties at the Bupa Great North Run, Britain’s biggest participation event.

Farah said, “I’m sorry not to be able to take part in the Bupa Great North Run but the last few weeks have taken their toll and it would be disrespectful to take on the distance without the necessary hard training. Of course I’ll be delighted to take part on the Saturday afternoon, before high fiving as many people as possible on Sunday morning!”

Farah will join rower Kat Copeland, boxer Nicola Adams, long jumper Greg Rutherford and Paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds on the start line.

Meanwhile, Ethiopian running legend Haile Gebrselassie, who won the event in 2010, has been forced to withdraw from the Bupa Great North Run due to a knee injury. Organisers are working on replacements for the elite field.