THE FASTEST twins over the half marathon will be bidding to become the first New Zealand winner of the Simplyhealth Great North Run this weekend.

Zane and Jake Robertson will be in contention for the world-famous half marathon on Sunday, 10 September, against Sir Mo Farah, Lilesa Feyisa and Dathan Ritzenhein in the men’s elite race.

The 27-year-olds have been competing for New Zealand together on the track for years, but this Sunday’s half marathon is the first event they have shared on the road.

It is a decade since Jake and Zane moved from New Zealand to Kenya to train with some of the world’s greatest distance runners.

Aged 17, they lived in a mud hut in Iten where they learned their trade. Ten years on, the hard work has paid off, with Zane holding the New Zealand national record over the half marathon and 10,000m, with both comfortably in the top five of all time over 5,000m, 10,000m and 13.1miles in their home country.

On Sunday, Zane and Jake will be competing to become the first ever Kiwi to win the world’s biggest half marathon.

The roll of honour has been dominated by Kenyans and Ethiopians over the years, and more recently Sir Mo Farah, who has won the last three consecutive Simplyhealth Great North Runs, but the Robertsons feel that they are well-placed to break the cycle.

Jake, whose PB over the half marathon is 60.00, earned on his debut over the distance in Lisbon earlier this year, said: "I’ll be competing in GNR with all my fighting spirit, if I'm healthy, I'm always in with a chance."

Zane, with a 59.47 PB, 15 seconds out from Farah’s best ever time, said: “I can’t wait for the Great North Run. I had to pull out last year but I’m delighted to be involved this year.

“As always, I’m going to give it my best shot and let’s see where that takes me.”

The Simplyhealth Great North Run takes place on Sunday, 10 September, and is broadcast live on BBC One HD from 9.30am until 1.30pm, with highlights on BBC Two at 6pm.

For more information, visit greatrun.org/north