• Ethiopian pipped Farah to finish in 1hr 0min 8sec
• Farah one second behind with Haile Gebrselassie third
James Riach at South Shields
The Guardian, Sunday 15 September 2013Ethiopa's Kenenisa Bekele wins the Great North Run ahead of Great Britain's Mo Farah. Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA
Kenenisa Bekele could feel Mo Farah bearing down on him like a hawk swooping in for the kill. This time, however, the prey outfoxed the predator.
There was to be no glorious finale for Farah in his first attempt at a half-marathon yet Great Britain's Olympic champion can take solace from the fact that he was beaten here by one of the finest long-distance runners of the modern era. One second was the mere gap that separated Bekele and Farah in the 32nd Great North Run, but the Ethiopian timed it beautifully.
He fought his way through the fierce Tyneside wind to finish in 1hr 00min 09sec, with his compatriot Haile Gebrselassie, who set the pace for the majority of the race, third in 1:00.41. For Gebrselassie it was one more record to add to his stellar career, running the fastest half-marathon ever recorded by a man aged 40 or over.
Farah set a new British record but missed out on a glorious victory by a matter of yards. As he clawed Bekele's lead back over the final 400m it felt as if a denouement to rival last year's 5,000m and 10,000m Olympic triumphs was on the cards. But if Farah's ace in the pack is his sublime sprint finish, Bekele played his joker midway through the race.
Dropping 25m behind Farah and Gebrselassie at the halfway point, it appeared Bekele was struggling on account of a foot injury that has hindered his progress this year. So it seemed, at least, before he rejoined the pack with remarkable ease and accelerated away from his rivals with one mile remaining.
"I thought I had it," said Farah afterwards. But little did he know that Bekele's decision to drop off was a cunning ruse intended to increase the pace of the leaders and allow him to finish with a flurry. "If he had come to the front with us, he thought we might have slowed the pace down," said Farah. "So [his plan] definitely did work. I was telling Haile: 'the gap's not enough'."
Bekele said: "It's amazing. This time my injury is over, I'm getting better and have recovered. I trained well and in the end I did it."http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2013/s ... -north-run