2018 Newcastle Diary: Stuart Weir writes about the Great North Run - men's race

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DSC_6782.JPGMo Farah wins Fifth Great North Run, 9 September 2018, photo by Great Run Company

DSC_6865.JPGJake Robertson, 59:57, @gomofarah, 59:26, Bashir Abdi, 60:43, 2018 great north run, September 9, 2018, photo, by Great run company

This is the column by Stuart Weir on the men's event, where Mo Farah won his fifth Great North Run title in the 38th year of the event. Thanks again to Stuart Weir on his fine coverage of the Great North Run.

GNR men

Mo Farah won the Great North Run men's race for the fifth year in a row, going under the hour for the second time with a finish in 59:26. Jake Robertson - as he had in 2017 - finished second, this time in 59:57. Bashir Abdi (Belgium) was third in 1:00.43.

Farah paid tribute to his opponents and declared himself ready for the Chicago marathon, saying: "It definitely feels good. I like coming back to the Great North Run, year after year. It is nice to come home and run in front of a home crowd and run with my training partner Bashir Abdi. I want to give credit to Jake who definitely had it a tough race for me. I wanted to go hard, to test myself, who I am, ask myself questions. The conditions made it a little bit tough. If we had had perfect conditions it would definitely have been a lot faster. The last two miles were particularly tough."

"Overall, I am happy where I am. I can't wait for Chicago. It's just a case of staying focused and doing what I am doing. I am sure my coach, Gary, is already thinking ahead what I need to do".

Robertson had set his stall out on Instagram, the day before the race with: "Tomorrow I face a legend, Tomorrow he gets to face the beast I've become! Tomorrow It's on! @great_run". Paula Radcliffe suggested on commentary that it is best to make comments like that after the race.

Robertson commented after the race: "That one was tough! Not just the heat of the race but the way the race was run. From the beginning it was fast/slow with surges throughout the race. This was probably the hardest way to run 59 minutes".

Robertson, who went under the hour for the first time, added: "I wasn't looking for a time, I wanted to win the race, I posted on Instagram yesterday that I was facing a legend. Today he showed why he is a legend. I didn't challenge him the way I would have liked to but I will take lessons from it and will look forward to my marathon in Toronto".

For Abdi it was his first podium. He said of his race: "It feels good and I generally like to race in the UK. Mo Farah is really in shape do from the start we were pushing hard. I was able to stay with them until 8 miles, then it was too much for me".

This was the 38th Great North Run, the world's biggest half marathon with over 40,000 runners alongside the elite. Before the start of the race, John Sentamu, Archbishop of York prayed a blessing on the runners asking God to give them peace and pace.

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