Mo Farah is first man to win three Great North Runs in-a-row

Mo Farah after winning the men's elite race during the Great North Run in Newcastle, England on Sunday
Picture by PA 
Malcolm McCausland

MOHAMED FARAH wound up a remarkable season by becoming the first man to win three consecutive Great North Runs.

Farah scored a convincing victory in the Newcastle to South Shields half-marathon with a time of 1hr 0min 04sec. The two-time double Olympic gold medallist, who is an avid Arsenal supporter, mimicked an Alan Shearer goal celebration on the homestraight, obviously forgetting the finish of the race is in Sunderland territory.

Farah was pushed for much of the race by the Dathan Ritzenhein, winner of the Belfast International Cross Country a few years ago, but got away from the American with a mile to go. In the end he finished eight seconds ahead of Ritzenhein.

“Half-marathons are tough, I find the track a lot easier,” said the 33-year-old who indicated that he may go on until the next Olympics in Tokyo.

“I only feel the pain in the last lap or two laps there. It’s a different pain. I don’t know if I need to shorten my stride. If you compare how I run to how marathoners run it’s a bit different.”

The Olympic 5,000m champion Vivian Cheruiyot, making her half-marathon debut, celebrated her 33rd birthday by winning the women’s race by a single second in 67.54 from Kenyan compatriot Priscah Jeptoo. The Kenyans showed their greater strength over the final few miles to break three-time Olympic champion and 2012 winner Tirunesh Dibaba who took third in 68:04.

Earlier, UCD's Mark English was just beaten by Olympic 800m champion David Rudisha over 500m at the CityGames in Newcastle. Rudisha produced a World's best performance over the rarely run distance in 57.69 to English's 57.91. English’s time would put him second on the mix of road and track surfaces.

"Nice to end the year running the second fastest 500m ever,” said the Letterkenny man.

“It's a great event to be a part of and hope to be back at the CityGames again. I just want to thank all the team for helping with the transition from the moon boot to the track back in June. So that's a wrap for this season but looking forward to tackling the Winter grind for the World Champs in London next year."

Mark McKinstry (32:46) and Rebecca Henderson (36:28) were the winners of the inaugural Larne 10K in which national half marathon champion Laura Graham suffered her first domestic defeat for some time.


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