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Obiri, Scott win 40th Great North Run

Kenya's Hellen Obiri and the U.K.'s Marc Scott won the half-marathon in 1:07:42 for Obiri and 1:01:22 for Scott

Photo by: Great North Run Twitter

The 40th annual Great North Run took place in Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K. this Sunday, and out of an impressive field of elite men and women, Kenya’s Hellen Obiri and Marc Scott of the U.K. were the 2021 winners.

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The women’s race

Obiri was the favourite for the win heading into the race, but victory didn’t come easily. It was a tight race between first and second, and she crossed the line in 1:07:42, a mere six seconds ahead of the  U.K.’s Eilish McColgan, who finished in 1:07:48. This was McColgan’s first crack at the half-marathon distance and her times puts her at third on the U.K.’s all-time list, behind her mother, Liz McColgan, and Paula Radcliffe. Charlotte Purdue, who was left off the U.K. Tokyo Olympic team, proved her injury was a thing of the past and rounded out the podium in third place in 1:08:49. American break-out marathon star, Molly Seidel, who’s currently building toward the New York City Marathon in November, ran a strong race, finishing in 1:11:55 for seventh place.

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The men’s race

In a very strong field of athletes, Scott was the surprise winner in the men’s race. It was the first time someone other than Mo Farah, who did not compete this year, has won the race since 2013. He finished only nine seconds ahead of Ed Cheserek of Kenya, who crossed the line in 1:01:31 for second place in his first official half-marathon.

“I’m delighted to win such a prestigious event,” Scott said in a post-race interview. “It was great to have all the support, especially that I’m just 30 minutes down the road!”

American Galen Rupp just barely took third place in 1:01:52, only two seconds ahead of Jake Smith of the U.K..Olympic marathon bronze medallist Bashir Abdi of Belgium ended up sixth in 1:02:08, and Australian track sensation Stewart McSweyn ran 1:02:52 for eighth place in his half-marathon debut, only days after competing in the 1,500m at the Diamond League final in Zurich, Switzerland, where he finished third.

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