Mo Farah had only just been draped in a Union Jack on the New York half-marathon finish line when he lost consciousness and collapsed on the chilly road.
A month after being taken away in a wheelchair, Farah is preparing to race again London on Sunday after shrugging off the health scare that appeared to jeopardise his much-anticipated full marathon debut.
“My coach Alberto Salazar, who has been there and done that, was just telling me, ‘Get up Mo, stop faking it’,” Farah recalled on Tuesday.
“I’m fine but I’m glad something happened in New York rather than here … it was just a lack of energy really.”
The British public only knows Farah the champion, establishing himself as one of the nation’s track and field greats by winning the 5000 and 10,000 metres at the 2012 London Olympics.
Now the 31-year-old Farah is facing the biggest test of his career, fresh from a high-altitude training camp in Kenya.
“It’s gone reasonably well, it doesn’t always go smooth,” Farah said.
“There have been a few hiccups.”
But nothing major, he said, reassuringly for the thousands preparing to line the 42km route in the British capital on Sunday.
Last year they only got to see Farah running the first half of the marathon as he acquainted himself with the course.
Although Farah finished second in freezing New York last month behind Geoffrey Mutai, the gruelling experience served as a reminder just how challenging going the full distance will be – especially with such a strong field awaiting in London.
It will be no serene introduction to the marathon, with Farah lining up alongside world-record holder Wilson Kipsang, reigning London champion Tsegaye Kebede, course record holder Emmanuel Mutai, and Olympic and world champion Stephen Kiprotich.