Ethiopia's distance running star Kenenisa Bekele bossed the field to win the men's race at the in a sprint finish ahead of Somali-born Briton Mohammed Farah on Sunday.

The world 5000m and 10,000m record-holder won the 13.1-mile course across Newcastle and South Shields comfortably in 1:00:09, despite a late charge from Farah over the last 100m.

Bekele, running his first competitive half-marathon, left Farah and Gebrselassie in his wake with one mile remaining crossing the line with a triumphant smile with Farah second in 1:00:10.

The 31-year-old had been ravaged by injury over the past years and this victory no doubt bodes well for his future marathon career.

"It's amazing. This time my injury is over," said after the race.  "I'm getting better and have recovered. I trained well and in the end I did it."

Ethiopian distance legend, , was a distant third in 1:00.41 after falling behind in the last metres, shattering the world half-marathon record for over-40 athletes.

Jeptoo's uphill triumph

In the women’s race, Priscah Jeptoo from Kenya defeated the two pre-race favourites, Ethiopians and , coasting to victory in 1:05:45, just five seconds off the course record (1:05:40) held by Paula Radcliffe.

Jeptoo, 29, the 2013 Virgin London Marathon champion and 2012 Olympic marathon silver medallist, broke her east African rivals with a sustained period of pace just after 7 miles.

Defar edged her compatriot for second place, smashing the Ethiopian record in 1:06:09, with Dibaba settling for third in 1:06:56.

A bumper crowd of 56,000 runners took part in the 32nd Great North run in 2013, which was started by the reigning World 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu.

The Bupa Great North Run is the second largest half marathon in the world and was devised by former Olympian and BBC commentator Brendan Foster

(Photo credits: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire)