The king is dead; long live the king: Stuart Weir writes on Great North Run


GNR2017-025.jpgMo Farah wins fourth Great North Run in 60:06, photo by Dan Vernon Photography

GNR2017-029.jpgJake Robertson takes second in 60:12 at Great North Run, photo by Dan Vernon Photography

GNR2017-030.jpgMo Farah, post race, Great North Run, photo by Dan Vernon Photography

Updated Tuesday, September 12, 2017, with photos by Dan Vernon Photography

RunBlogRun introduces column: Stuart Weir writes about the men's Great North Run, and espeically, Mo Farah. This is Stuart's final column on the weekend in NewCastle/Gateshead.

The king is dead; long live the king! By Stuart Weir

It was business as usual at the Great North Run men's half marathon with Mo Farah winning for the fourth time in a row in a time of 1:00:06. Having covered Mo Farah's last track race - 3 times (last World Championship, last track race in Britain and last ever track race), I was At the Great North Run, I suppose, to record Mo's first race as an ex-track runner.

It was not his easiest victory. Jake Robertson (New Zealand) who was second in 1:00:12 lead Mo until the last few hundred yards when Mo raced clear. Mo later admitted that with 3-4 miles to go he was hanging on.

Farah said afterwards: "It was an amazing race. Jake pushed the pace on and tried to get rid of me. He almost got rid of me - I wasn't going to tell him that - but he almost got rid of me with three miles to go, because I was hurting. It was a great race today. I really enjoyed it. I just had to dig deep.

GNR2017-046.jpgJake Robertson, Mo Farah and Feyisa Lelisa, photo by Dan Vernon Photography

"It was good to cross the finish line. It's been hard to motivate myself after Zurich and the world champs but somehow I just go through it. That's why I'm so sore. All my muscles are aching. They're not aching because I ran hard but from lack of training

"It's nice to win four times in a row. It's not easy and now I'm just looking forward to taking a break, chill out and live the dream a bit. Then come back on the road".

Farah said that the only race in the future that he is committed to in the 2018 London Marathon but that he would probably do a 10K or half early in 2018 as preparation for London.

Feyisa Lilesa (Ethiopia) was third (1:01:32) and Zane Robertson fourth. To illustrate the international nature of the race Hiroyuki Yamamoto (Japan) was fifth, Koen Naert (Belgium) tenth with Americans Dathan Ritzenheim sixth and the evergreen Bernard Lagat 8th. All the top ten finished under 1:03:30.

GNR2017-055.jpgJake Robertson proposes to Magdalyne Masai, photo by Dan Vernon Photography

Jake Robertson was also a "winner" as at the end of his race he proposed to girlfriend, Magdalyne Masai (Kenya). Masai, fourth in the women's race, accepted.

GNR2017-056.jpgThe proposal: Jake Robertson proposes to Magdelyne Masai, photo by Dan Vernon Photography

Simon Lawson (GB) won the Men's wheelchair race in 44:22 but only after leader,Brent Lakatos (Canada), stopped 200 metres short of the finish, thinking he had just crossed the finish line. Officially Lakatos was second in 44:27.

This was the 37th Great North Run. The race, which welcomed its millionth finisher in 2014, had 43,000 runners today. Elite, club and fun running is alive and well in the North East of England.

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