Tyne & Wear

Great North Run: Thousands complete half-marathon

Mo Farah crossing finish line Image copyright PA
Image caption Mo Farah has become the first British man to win the elite men's race at the Great North Run since 1985

Thousands of runners have completed the 34th Great North Run including its millionth finisher and Mo Farah, the first British man to win it in 29 years.

About 57,000 people have taken part in the 13.1-mile Tyneside half marathon.

Organisers of the event, which began in 1981, named Tracey Cramond as its millionth finisher.

Farah completed the race in one hour exactly, a British half-marathon record, beating Kenya's Mike Kigen.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The Red Arrows thrilled the crowds as they flew over the Tyne Bridge

The last British man to win was Steve Kenyon in 1985, who won it in 62 minutes 44 seconds.

Brendan Foster, who founded the Newcastle-to-South Shields run, said he was "immensely proud" the millionth finisher milestone had been reached.

The women's elite race was won by Mary Keitany from Kenya, who has set a new course record with a time of 65 minutes 39 seconds, beating Paula Radcliffe's previous 2003 record of 65 minutes 40 seconds.

Briton Gemma Steel came second in 68 minutes and 18 seconds.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Farah overtook Kenya's Mike Kigen in a thrilling finish

The elite men's wheelchair race was won by Spain's Jordi Madeira in a time of 43 minutes two seconds.

He was closely followed by Carlisle's Simon Lawson, who also finished second in 2012.

Britain's Shelly Woods won the women's wheelchair race for the sixth time in 50 minutes and 34 seconds.

Farah said of his victory: "It feels great, but I had to dig in deep out there.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Mary Keitany (centre) broke the course record to win and celebrated with second-placed Briton Gemma Steel (right) and third-placed Ethiopian Tiki Gelana

"Mike kept on pushing and I just wanted to hang on in there and I knew I had the pace at the end."

Ms Cramond, from Darlington, took part in a ceremony at the South Shields finish line.

She was raising money for the Butterwick Hospices in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, and Stockton-on-Tees.

She was given a limited edition print of the finish line and a special finisher's medal.

Image caption Brendan Foster presented millionth runner Tracey Cramond with a special edition print

She said: "I'm just in awe or all of this. The crowd this year was phenomenal, they've really done us proud."

A special event in anticipation of the milestone saw thousands gather on Newcastle's quayside on Thursday night.

This year, celebrity runners taking part have included former Olympic rowing champion James Cracknell, TV personality and former athlete Iwan Thomas and BBC News presenter Sophie Raworth, among others.

The race had 12,000 participants in its first year.

Image copyright PA
Image caption About 57,000 have competed in this year's Great North Run

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