MARC Scott surged to victory today in the 40th Great North Run to maintain British dominance in the elite men’s version of the famous half marathon.

The Richmond and Zetland Harrier outpaced Kenyan Ed Cheserek in the closing stages of the race which took place today over an amended course, starting and finishing on Newcastle’s Central Motorway, to avoid the usual mass finish in South Shields.

Scott, from Northallerton, was among the front runners throughout, but had the strength and stamina to surge away from a field which included Olympic medallists Galen Rupp, from the USA, and Belgian/Somali Bashir Abdi.

The 27-year-old British 5,000-metre champion finished the 13.1mile course in 61 minutes and 1.22 seconds, nine seconds ahead of Cheserek and almost a minute ahead of third-placed Rupp.

He joins a list of elite men’s winners most notably dominated by Sir Mo Farah, who has taken first place in the previous six Great North Runs, up to 2019, prior to last year’s Covid-enforced cancellation.

Eilish McColgan, daughter of Scottish three times women’s winner Liz, just failed to make it a GB double as she took an admirable second place in her first attempt at the Great North Run.

She finished just six seconds behind Kenyan winner Hellen Obiri, more than a minute clear of third-placed fellow Brit, Charlotte Purdue.

Earlier Sean Frame was an easy winner of the men’s wheelchair race, in 49.52, while Shelly Woods tasted Great North Run victory for the eighth time in the women’s wheelchair section.

Due to the staggered start to help maintain some element of social distancing the winners were finished long before many of the 57,000 entrants had even got near to the start line.

Although it was the Great North Run, not as we know it, some things remained familiar, including Big Pink Dress man Colin Burgin-Plews from South Shields, sporting a half red and white, half black and white number this year, in a throwback to Kevin Keegan’s bespoke shirt worn in the first Great North Run, in 1981.

There were the usual array of comic runners, sporting familiar costumes like the obligatory pantomime dromedary to a rhino-backed conservationist, a Boris Johnson look-alike and many others.

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