Mo And Mary Seal Simplyhealth Great North Run Victory
MO FARAH became the first British man to win four Simplyhealth Great North Runs on a day where Mary Keitany ran the fourth quickest women's time in the event's 37-year history to take her third title.
Farah won in 60.06 with Jake Robertson 60.12 and Feyisa Lilesa third in 61.32.
Earlier, Keitany clocked 65.59, with Vivian Cheruiyot finishing in 67.44 and Caroline Kipkirui in 69.52.
But it was Farah who stole the show once again, completing his quartet of victories which matches the record set by the late Benson Masya in the 1990s.
The early miles saw Farah joined by last year's runner-up Dathan Ritzenhein, along with the Robertson brothers, Bernard Lagat and Lilesa.
While Ritzenhein took his share of leading, Jake Robertson and Farah broke clear of the rest of the field at the ten-mile mark, with Jake, whose twin brother Zane formed part of the leading pack in the race's early stages, leading through the final two and a half miles heading on to the South Shields coast.
Farah stayed on Robertson's shoulder though, and with 400m to go he showed his trademark kick to ease home.
Zane Robertson, meanwhile, finished fourth on his Great North Run debut in 61.42, while Dewi Griffiths finished seventh, and second Briton, in 62.53.
For Farah, it was a statement of intent for a man whose future will be on the roads after retiring from a glittering track career which delivered four Olympic and five world gold medals.
The 34-year-old said: “It was an amazing race. Jake pushed the pace on and tried to get rid of me. He almost got rid of me, I wasn't going to tell him that, but he almost got rid of me with three miles to go because I was hurting.
“It was a great race today, I really enjoyed it – I just had to dig deep. What a year I've had! It's nice to finish it at home.”
In the women's race, Keitany led from the front, dropping first Kipkirui as the leaders cruised through 5km in 16.01, then Cheruiyot beyond halfway, and produced a masterclass in frontrunning to finish 1.46 ahead of last year's winner, with Kipkirui hanging on to finish third.
Gemma Steel was best of the Great Britain contingent that also numbered Lily Partridge and Sunderland's Aly Dixon. Steel, whose recent career has been dogged by injuries, ran brilliantly to finish sixth in 71.32 with Partridge seventh in 72.10 and Dixon eighth in 72.29.
But it was Keitany, who last won on Tyneside in 2015, who captured her third Simplyhealth Great North Run victory in scintillating fashion.
She said: “It was very great for me to come again, and win for the third time. “Today it was not easy but I tried my best. At times it was too windy, it affected my sight, and because I was alone I thought I'd be distracted by the wind.
“I'm really happy just to come and cross the line first, so I'm thankful for this opportunity – I'm very excited to win and to maybe come again.”
In the men's wheelchair race, Carlisle's Simon Lawson won in 44.22, ahead of Canadian Brent Lakatos in 44.27 and Josh Cassidy third in 44.57.
Manuela Schar won the female wheelchair race in 48.44, with Great Britain's Sammy Kinghorn second in 53.48.