Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

50,000 runners brave downpours

More than 50,000 people took to the streets in the wind and rain to take part in this year's Great North Run.

Mo Farah was aiming to become the first male Briton to win the race since 1985, but was pipped to the post by legendary Ethiopian runner Kenenisa Bekele.

Many other famous names braved the weather, including Mel C, ex-footballer Robbie Savage and Radio 2's Jo Whiley.

The famous race, that first began in 1981, got under way when England cricketer Graeme Swann and World 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu fired the starting pistols.

Speaking after the race, Farah told the BBC he could not take away from what Bekele had achieved.

"It was a good race, a great finish," he said.

"When Kenenisa went with a mile to go I thought the pace was just ridiculous. I thought I'd come back and close the gap slowly and I managed to close a little bit, but you can't take away what he has. He has great speed and it came down to the last 200 metres and right to the line, but it was a great race and Haile did most of the work and kept pushing and pushing."

During the race, which finishes in South Shields, an estimated 82,000 litres of water were drunk by parched runners.

Mel C, who after finishing said she wanted to run it all again, and said the poor weather had not stopped people from coming out and showing the support. "It hasn't been the best of days weatherwise, but so many people have still turned out to support everyone and line the streets," she told the BBC.

Other victories came for Kenyan athlete Priscah Jeptoo in the women's elite race and British Paralymian David Weir in the men's wheelchair race, his fourth victory in the race. Out of the thousands taking part, there was an elite group of 117 people who have run in every Great North Run since it first started.


From Belfast Telegraph