Mo Farah admitted Kenenisa Bekele deserved his dramatic victory at the Great North Run but was disappointed nonetheless with a narrow second-place finish.
Farah, Bekele and 40-year-old Haile Gebrselassie immediately hit the front in the half-marathon and were still together with two miles to go.
Bekele broke away thereafter although Farah kept the three-time Olympic champion from Ethiopia in his sights before attacking with 200m to go.
However try as he might Farah just couldn’t reel Bekele in and had to settle for second, just missing out on becoming the first UK runner in 25 years to win the elite men’s race.
And Farah, who won the long distance double at the World Championships in Moscow last month having achieved the same feat at the London 2012 Olympics, had mixed feelings.
“It was a great race, a great finish. I thought when Kenenisa went with a mile to go that the pace was just ridiculous, I thought I could come back and close the gap slowly,” said Farah.
“I managed to close it a little bit but you can’t take away what Kenenisa has, he has great speed and it came down to the last 200m, right to the line.
“I am disappointed to finish second, but I didn’t just finish second, I finished second to a great athlete. It was a great race and Haile did most the work.”
Farah will now take a well-deserved holiday before turning his attentions onto running the full London Marathon next year, having raced half this year.
And the 30-year-old insists his outing at the Great North Run has definitely proved beneficial as he bids for a successful outing on London’s roads.
“It definitely taught me a lot for London. My main preparation this year was the world champs, that was my main focus,” he added.
“I only had two to three weeks for prepare for this. I will take my break, go on holiday and get ready for the London Marathon.”