Sir Mo Farah delivered a dominant performance to claim a record-breaking fifth consecutive victory in the Great North Run on the South Shields seafront on Sunday.
Farah led from the front to cross the line in an impressive 59.26 minutes, just four seconds short of the personal best he had set in winning his second title in 2015.
Farah shrugged off New Zealand’s Jake Robertson in the final section of the race as he set himself up in style for his attempt to win his first major marathon crown in Chicago next month.
A strong performance had been expected of the 35-year-old who admitted he had never felt better prepared at a time of the season when he he usually beginning to wind down.
And such was his strength from the start there were real hopes that Farah might challenge the course record of 58.56 minutes set by Kenya’s Martin Mathathi in 2011.
Farah led a four-man bunch including Robertson, former London Marathon champion Daniel Wanjiru and Abdi Abdirahman clear of the field, but had dropped the latter pair by the halfway stage.
Cheered by crowds bordering the course in sunny conditions, Farah stretched out to shrug off Robertson and pushed towards the line, only narrowly falling short of his former mark.
Favourite Vivian Cheruiyot saw off fellow Kenyan Brigid Kosgei to win her second women’s title in 67.43.
Cheruiyot, who also won this year’s London Marathon, finished strongly to shake off world record holder Joyciline Kepkosgei, who was then passed by
Kosgei and had to cling on for third place.
Northern Ireland’s Emma Mitchell was the best British finisher in the women’s race in eighth place.
David Weir won the men’s wheelchair race for the seventh time in his career in a course record of 41.19.