Kenya wins women's Great North Run half marathon: Stuart Weir writes on the Great North Run

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Updated September 12, 2017 with photos from Dan Vernon Photography

GNR2017-001.jpgMary Keitany wins Great North Run, photo by Dan Vernon Photography

GNR2017-004.jpgVivian Cheruiyot, taking second in Great North Run, photo by Dan Vernon Photography

GNR2017-005.jpgMary Keitany and Vivian Cheruiyot, photo by Dan Vernon Photography

RunBlogRun writes: Stuart Weir covered the Great CityGames on Saturday, and, on Sunday, covered Great North Run on Sunday for us. This is his article on Mary Keitany.

Kenya wins women's Great North Run half marathon

The first five finishers were Kenyan with Mary Keitany first in 1:05:59 and Vivian Cheruiyot second in 1:07:44. Caroline Chepkoech Kipki was third in 1:09:52. The first non-Kenyan to finishe was Gemma Steel (GB) 1:11.32.

With both Keitany and Cheruiyot previous winners of the race, they were firm favorites. Keitany and Kipli went off very fast with Cheruiyot some distance behind, as if she felt that Keitany had misjudged the pace. Cheruiyot finished fast, overtaking Kipki and closing the gap to some degree on Keitany. Cheruiyot's time was faster than her 2016 winning time but it was not quite enough today.

Keitany summed up her feelings: "It was very great for me to come again, and win for the third time. Today it was not easy but I tried my best. But I'm really happy just to come and cross the line first. [The victory] will give me the morale to go forward, to look forward and to try to win again. The crowds were telling me to keep going. They were really amazing when you can just hear all the voices calling my name and saying 'go, go, go.'"

Cheruiyot said: "I'm happy to be second because I'm still new in road races

And I know I'm going to improve. Maybe when I come back next year

To come from 5000 and 10,000 up to a half marathon - it's not something that is easy

But I'm so happy because today I did my best".

Keitany will run the New York Marathon. Cheruiyot is also intending to run an autumn marathon but has not yet formally agreed which one.

Keitany showed again today - what we already knew - that she is a class act. Cheruiyot showed that she has great potential in the longer races but that the transition from track will not be an easy one.

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