Mary Keitany, unopposed, wins the Great North Run, by Larry Eder


Keitany_Mary1a-Ottawa14.JPGMary Keitany, Ottowa, 2014, photo by

The field announced for the women's race made this an amazing field.

Then, it began to happen.

Between athletes pulling out and Federations tryingto control athletes, most of Mary Keitany's competitors went away.

Gemma Steel, the British hope, would be running by herself after awhile.

Mary Keitany took off from the start.

She did it that way, quite frankly, because she could.

" I am ready to run 65 minutes." noted Mary Keitany after the race.

Keitany went out strong, hitting the mile in 5:16, then two miles in 10:26, then, three miles in 15:29. Running miles as 5:16, 5:10, then, 5:03, she would run unopposed.

A 5k in 16:01, as Mary Keitany continued to move away.

Mary ran in the 5:20 pace for two miles, 20:03, then, 25:03, then, two miles at five minute pace!

With six miles in 30:04, and 10k in 32:16, Mary was not done.

Mary dropped another five minute mile, hitting seven miles in 36:10, and eight miles in 41:17.

Keitany-DaskaH-RAK15.JPGKeitany, Daska, RAK 15, photo by

Her tiny frame belies an athlete who is tough and strong.

The pack of Alyson Dixon, Gemma Steel, Jelena Prokopcuka pushed their trailing pack at a good pace. Gemma and Allyson dueled over the middle miles.

But, up front, Mary Keitany was not slowing down.

15k was hit in 48:15 as that third 5k was run in 16 minutes.

As the battle for second and third continued in earnest, Mary Keitany continued her race. She hit ten miles in 51:49, and then, ran 11 miles in 57:07 (5:18), twelve miles in 62:15 (5:08).

And on the thirteenth mile, Mary Keitany ran 4:45 for the final mile, hitting the finish line in 67:32.

Running by herself, Mary hit 10k in 32:16, and then, running her last 10k in 32:04!

After the finish, we spoke to Mary. " The race was good. I am going home to relax, then, train for a marathon in the fall. "

When this writer asked Mary Keitany where she would run, she smiled and said. " I know but you do not."

That's okay.

We will wait for a while to see how Mary runs over the marathon.

In the battle for the second and third places, Gemma Steel won the silver in 1:11:00, with Jelena Prokopcuka, NYC marathon winner, in third in 1:11.52.

Adriana Nelson, the first American, in fifth place, ran 1:12:29, and Sara Hall, who, with her husband, just adopted four girls from Ethiopia, aged five, ten, thirteen and fifteen, was seventh in 1:15:45. Sara will be racing at the Chicago Marathon in a few weeks.

Gemma Steel is quite a talent. Many in the UK want to see when she runs the marathon. I am not sure if she is there yet. A fine road racer over 10k, Gemma Steel will have to decide whether she wants to run a marathon or not.

For Mary Keitany, the marathon is her home.

She won today by three minutes, and twenty-eight seconds. A 67:32 unoppossed.

And Rio, while she will not speak much of it, is a focus on a goal not yet achieved.

Keitany_Mary1i-Kenya12.jpgMary Keitany training at home, photo by

Great North Run, Women, 1. Mary Keitany, KEN, 1:07:32, 2. Gemma Steel, GBR, 1:11:00, 3. Jelena Prokopcuka, LAT, 1:11:52, 4. Alyson Dixon, GBR, 1:12:07, 5. Adrianna Nelson, USA, 1:12:29, 6. Reia Iwade, JPN, 1:12:41, 7. Sara Hall, USA, 1:15:45, 8. Dianne Lauder, GBR, 1:20:33, 9. Tori Green, GBR, 1:21:56, 10. Diane Moore, GBR, 1:22:34, #greatnorthrun

Leave a comment

Wake up to RunBlogRun's news in your inbox. Sign up for our newsletter and we'll keep you informed about the Sport you love.

Subscribe to RunBlogRun's Global News Feed

* indicates required