Kenya's former world half marathon champion Martin Lel marked his recovery from hip injury to win the 2009 Bupa Great North Run, the world’s biggest half marathon, in Newcastle upon Tyne, today.
Lel, 30, who also missed last month's World Championship marathon in Berlin because of the injury, claimed his second Great North Run title - after an initial victory in 2007 - in 59 minutes, 32 seconds ahead of compatriot Kiplimo Kimutai and Moroccan Jaouad Gharib.
The three-time Flora London Marathon winner put behind him the disappointment of missing out on winning a fourth title, when injury forced him to pull out on the morning of last April's race in London, with a superb performance in the North East.
Kenya's Kimutai clocked 59.44 and Morocco's Gharib completed the podium in 1:00.04.
Lel will now turn his attention to the New York Marathon in November where he will make his comeback over the full marathon distance.
Former world half marathon champion Berhane Adere came second in a time of 1:09:42 in the women's race to Portugal's Jessica Augusto with 1.09.08. Augusto's compatriot Ana Dulce Felix was third in 1:09:48.