Just 19 minutes away from a record breaking victory for No. 1 Martin Mathathi.
Mathathi followed in the footsteps of 12 of his previous countrymen when winning the men's race ahead of team mates Jonathan Maiyo and Emmanuel Mutai the first podium clean sweep of the medals from the east African nation for a decade.
The 25-year-old who is based in Japan sliced nine seconds from the previous course record belonging to Eritrea's Zersenay Tadese with his fantastic time of 58 minutes 56 seconds.
Behind him Jonathan Maiyo better known as a pacemaker in major global marathons took second with a time of 59:27 while pre-race favourite Emmanuel Mutai had to settle for third in 59:52, albeit that was a personal best for this year's Virgin London Marathon winner.
The race started slowly before Maiyo edged his nose into the lead just after five miles with a change of pace which was good enough to draw himself and Mattathi clear of a small pack which was led by Mutai.
However Mattathi despite a small 10 yard gap opening always looked the more comfortable of the two and between seven and eight miles which he passed in 35:57 went into the lead before proceeding to go even faster.
The 2007 World 10,000 bronze medallist and fifth in last month's race in Daegu, having been told he could break the course record made that a possibility when passing 10m in 44:41 just seven seconds slower than Tadese achieved in 2005 and then at 12 miles was 10 seconds ahead of current World record holder's split at that point.
Then he again switched gear to write himself into the record books when he swiftly ran the remaining 1.1 miles towards the finish with a performance he hadn't expected.
"I expected to run 60/59 (minutes), " said Mathathi a former World junior record holder at 10 miles and who has been based in Shizuka, Japan, for the last eight years where he is sponsored by the local motor company.
"But my manager (Ricky Simms who was travelling in the nearby media vehicle) told me that if I kept going at the pace I was I was going to run 58 minutes," he said.
"I had a done a lot of speed work before I came here, but I didn't know what the course was like. However the further I ran the more I began to like it," added Mathathi who plans contesting the 10,000 at next year's London Olympics before stepping up to the full marathon distance.
Event: Great North Run
Where: South Shields
When: 18th. September 2011
Use control and your mouse scroll wheel to zoom the picture/page, then control and 0 to reset to normal size.
Read my views in Curly's Corner Shop, to find out a little more about my home town South Shields.
Creative Commons all rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial, No Derivatives 3.0 Unported License strictly for Non Commercial use. If you would like to licence or purchase one of my images for commercial purposes please get in touch using the contact button at the foot of the page.
If you like this site please vote for me at Cool Photoblogs