Great North glory for Farah


Published: Sunday 7th September 2014 by The News Editor

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Mo Farah became the first British man to win the Great North Run since 1985 by beating Mike Kigen with a personal best time of one hour and one second.

The double Olympic gold medallist held off the challenge of Kenyan long-distance runner Kigen to win his first title on Tyneside, after finishing second last year.

Steve Kenyon was the last British winner of the men’s race 29 years ago.

Kenya would taste success in the women’s race as Mary Keitany equalled Paula Radcliffe’s course record to edge Britain’s Gemma Steel into second place.

After the chasing pack fell away, Farah found himself fighting it out with Kigen for the remainder of the race.

The 31-year-old Londoner finally pulled clear over the final 200 metres of the 13.1-mile course.

He told BBC One: “It feels great. I had massive support from the crowd and I just had to dig deep.

“Mike’s a great athlete and he just kept pushing and pushing so I was thinking ‘just hang in, just hang in’ so I could create more speed.

“Once we had dropped everybody I was thinking ‘it’s just me and you’ but he wanted to run faster and just put his foot down and kept pushing and pushing.

“There were a couple of times when I was thinking ‘four more miles, three more miles, two more miles’ but I just had to dig in.”

Farah, who came into the race having missed the Commonwealth Games before winning double gold at the European Championships in Zurich, admitted his rapid finishing time came as some surprise.

When asked if he had expected to come home in just 60 minutes he said: “No chance.

“Early on my aim was to run 60-something but I didn’t think I could run that fast. It’s great to finish the season with a win and a good time.

“I’ve learned a lot this year and it has been up and down. But now I want to take a break and relax and get ready for the World Championships next year.”

Elsewhere, Blackpool’s Shelly Woods won the wheelchair race for the sixth time, with the men’s title going to Jordi Madera of Spain.

Published: Sunday 7th September 2014 by The News Editor

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