Mo Farah
Mo Farah produces his trademark 'Mobot' celebration as he crosses the finish line at the 2015 Great North Run. AFP

Mo Farah has successfully defended his title and won the Great North Run for a second consecutive year. Last September, the two-time Olympic gold medalist became the first British winner of the famous half-marathon since Steve Kenyon in 1985, after finishing in exactly one hour last. This year he managed to beat that time by clocking a time of 59 minutes and 23 seconds.

Early leader Stanley Biwott provided a stern test of the 32-year-old's credentials from Newcastle to South Shields, eventually crossing the line a fraction of a second behind. Fellow Kenyan Mike Kigen, denied victory during a thrilling sprint finish in 2014, came in third.

For Farah, this latest triumph continues an eventful summer in which he has already bounced back from the detrimental effects of doping allegations made against Oregon Project coach Alberto Salazar and stablemate Galen Rupp to scoop another superb 5,000m and 10,000m World Championship double, in addition to winning the 3,000m race at the Sainsbury's Anniversary Games. Although he was not accused of any wrongdoing, the whole messy saga proved an unwelcome distraction and generated unfounded suspicion of his considerable achievements.


In the women's elite race, Mary Keitany defended her crown easily in a time of one hour, seven minutes and 32 seconds. Britain's Gemma Steel was almost four minutes behind in second, while Jeļena Prokopčuka of Latvia finished third. Local runner Alyson Dixon ran an excellent race to secure fourth.

Legendary Paralympian David Weir claimed his sixth victory in the men's wheelchair event, meanwhile, equalling the record set by David Holding in 1997. Shelly Woods won her seventh title overall after a late crash ended the hopes of race leader Margriet van den Broek.

David Weir
David Weir beat Simon Lawson to his sixth Great North Run victory. Getty