SIR MO Farah made it six wins in a row while Brigid Kosgei ran the fastest half marathon in history, on a day where records tumbled at the Simplyhealth Great North Run.
No runner has ever achieved six consecutive victories on the famous half marathon course until Farah’s heroics. The ten-time Olympic and World champion has not been defeated in South Shields since finishing second to Kenenisa Bekele in 2013, and he did not disappoint, clocking a winning time of 59.07 – his fastest on Tyneside, ahead of Tamarit Tola in 59.13 while Abdi Nageeye finished third in 59.55
However, it was the women’s race that set the pulses racing as Kenyan Kosgei set a blistering pace to lead from the gun and record a Simplyhealth Great North Run record of 64.28 – smashing the previous record set by Mary Keitany in 2014.
It was a perfect day for racing in the North-East which resulted in some speedy times, as Kosgei seized the initiative from the off, building up a commanding gap over her rivals Magdalene Masai and Linette Masai – the Kenyan sisters finishing second and third in 67.36 and 67.44 respectively.
Last year’s winner Keitany was fourth in 67.58, while Charlotte Purdue ran superbly to finish first British athlete in 68.10.
Kosgei , who now turns her focus to the upcoming Chicago Marathon, said: “I was not expecting to run a record time. I just tried my best – that was all. Today was great preparation for Chicago.”
Farah, meanwhile, had settled into a lead group featuring Tola, Bashir Abdi, Callum Hawkins and Nageeye, and steadily picked off his rivals. Tola took the lead briefly but Farah reined him in and made his move with around two miles to go.
Farah said of his win: “I was confident early on but after eight miles I began to feel it a bit and thought ‘surely he (Tola) can’t keep this going’. He got a bit of a gap but I just kept fighting and I knew that I know this course pretty well.”
David Weir won the men’s wheelchair race in 43.31, ahead of Brent Lakatos in 43.36 and Simon Lawson third in 45.58.
Jade Jones-Hall took her first-ever victory in the women’s race in a time of 50.15, ahead of Shelly Woods in 51.41 and Mel Nicholls who finished third in 56.17.