Martin Mathathi broke the men's record for the Great North Run and Lucy Karbuu won the women's race in a memorable day for the Kenyan pair.
Mathathi powered home in 58 minutes 56 seconds to take nine seconds off Zersenay Tadese's 2005 record and set the sixth fastest half-marathon time.
Karbuu was a surprise winner in one hour, seven minutes and six seconds, the third fastest time on this course.
British pair Jo Pavey and Helen Clitheroe finished fourth and fifth.
Another Kenyan runner, Jonathan Maiyo, had been the first to make a break, pulling clear after five miles, but Mathathi had overtaken him by the eight-mile mark and never looked back.
Maiyo was forced to settle for second place, 31 seconds back, while London Marathon winner Emmanuel Mutai came third in a time of 59.52.
"I couldn't believe [the time]," Muthathi, the 2007 World Championship bronze medallist, told BBC Sport.
"My manager told me maybe I could run a 59-minute race and he gave me a lot of motivation and encouragement."
The women's race was dominated by Kabuu, who joined defending champion Berhane Adere in pushing the pace early on but then broke clear by the five-mile mark.
The Kenyan quickly established a big lead and was soon out of sight.
Only nine women have ever completed a half-marathon in under 67 minutes, and Kabuu's time was achieved in only her second race since giving birth to her daughter, Angel.
"I have trained well, and I expected to win," Kabuu said. "I was expecting to run a good time."
Pavey, who missed the World Athletics Championships in Daegu with a foot injury, said she was just happy to be back running.
"It was lovely just to be out there, I really enjoyed it," said the 37-year-old. "It was a strong field and I really felt it after three miles, but running with my buddy Helen (Clitheroe) we managed to work together and having done a good run ahead of 2012 is great."
Clitheroe was also pleased with her effort, saying: "I didn't know what to expect, I enjoy running on the roads so it will be interesting to see if I can go any faster."
Keith Gerrard was the first British male to finish, 10th, in a time of 63:39.
Britain's Shelly Woods won the women's wheelchair race in a time of 50.14 for her third victory in the event.
Josh Cassidy, from Canada, set a new a course record in a time of 37.52 to win the men's event.