Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele saw off double world and Olympic champion Mo Farah's late surge to win the Great North Run in a thrilling sprint finish.
Britain's Farah, 30, chased down Bekele in the last 400m in a great finale but was pipped to the line by one second.
Another Ethiopian, Haile Gebrselassie, was a distant third after falling behind in the last of the 13.1 miles.
"I'm disappointed but I was second to a great athlete," said Farah after finishing in one hour and 10 seconds.
The sight of Farah and Bekele fighting it out in the last 200m was a fitting conclusion to what had been an eagerly anticipated race from Newcastle upon Tyne to South Shields.
The three distance-running greats - Farah, Bekele and Gebrselassie - boast 12 world titles and seven Olympic gold medals between them and were together until 31-year-old Bekele, competing in his first half marathon, made his break down a steep slope.
"When Kenenisa went with a mile to go, I thought the pace was ridiculous," said Farah, who won 5,000m and 10,000m gold at the World Championships in Moscow last month.
"I thought I could come back. It came to the last 200m, right to the line. It was a great race and a great finish."
Gebrselassie, 40, could not keep up with the younger pair but his time of 1:01:41 was still a world record over the distance for over-40s.
Kenya's Priscah Jeptoo came close to breaking the course record as she ran the third-fastest time in women's half-marathon history.
Meseret Defar broke the Ethiopian record as she came second to Jeptoo in 1:06.09 but ahead of compatriot Tirunesh Dibaba, another of the pre-race favourites.
Britain's David Weir, who was inaugurated into the Great North Run Hall of Fame this week, won the men's wheelchair race for a fourth time.
"It was a good test to see where I'm at," said the 34-year-old course-record holder, who crossed the line in 43:03.
"I surprised myself. I've only been back pushing for a couple of weeks so I'm really pleased with that time."
Compatriot Shelly Woods claimed her fifth title in the women's wheelchair race, but admitted the conditions had made it a tough day.
"The wind was swirling and I found it difficult out there," said the 27-year-old after clocking 54:28.
"I'm doing the New York marathon in November and this is great preparation for it."