Double Olympic champion Mo Farah admitted he surprised even himself as he won the Great North Run in a new personal best time.
Having finished last year’s Great North Run second behind Kenenisa Bekele, Farah returned for this year’s event with his sights set on the top step of the podium.
And the 31-year-old didn’t disappoint, becoming the first British man to win the Great North Run since Steve Kenyon in 1985 as he crossed the line in one hour and one second.
Farah was pushed all the way by Kenyan Mike Kigen, who’s compatriot Mary Keitany equalled Paula Radcliffe's course record to edge Britain's Gemma Steel into second place in the women’s race.
And Farah insisted he was relieved to finish his season on a high, before immediately turning his attentions to next year’s World Athletics Championships in Beijing.
“It feels great,” said Farah. “I got massive support from the crowd and everyone so I just had to dig deep.
“Kigen is a great athlete and kept pushing and pushing and pushing so I was thinking ‘just hang in’ and at the end I knew I had a bit more speed.
“I was really surprised with how well Kigen was running. Early on the aim was to get rid of the field and then run to ourselves and come home strong.
“And then once we dropped everyone I was thinking, ‘alright Kigen, it is just me and you’, but he wanted to run fast and he put his foot down and kept pushing and pushing and there were times where I was thinking how many more miles? But I just had to dig in.
“Early on my aim was to run 60 minutes something and I never thought I would run that fast. But it is great to finish the season with a win and a good time and I can take a break and relax now.
“I have definitely learnt a lot this year. It has been up and down but I have managed to put that behind me now and just need to look forward to the World Championships in Beijing and I just have to stay injury free.”
© Sportsbeat 2014