It was an all-African affair at the 2014 Blaydon Race, with a Kenyan one-two in both the men’s and the women’s contests.
Peter Emase was first home, crossing the finishing line in the evening sunshine to regain the title he first won in a downpour two years ago.
Emase finished in 26mins 34secs - more than a minute faster than his winning time in 2012 - after holding off the challenge of last year’s winner Boniface Kiprop.
Kiprop lead the way at the start of the race before Emase took over on Chain Bridge Road, and he finished 14 seconds ahead of his Team Run-Fast colleague.
Emase said: “I’m really happy to have won the race again.
“I won in 2012 when it rained, and I had never run in conditions like that before.
“This time it was dry, which was a lot better for me!
“We [himself and Kiprop] ran together for most of the race but I pushed on near the end, and was really happy to win.”
The Kenyan pair were pacesetters in the Ottowa marathon recently, with Emase pacing for 26km and Kiprop for 35km.
Emase smiled: “That might have helped me a little bit!”
Kiprop added: “I was exhausted near the end.
“The better man won!”
Morpeth’s Nick Swinburn finished third overall and was first Geordie home in a time of 27.11, after accelerating away from former Elswick man Ryan McLeod who had occupied third place until around the three-mile mark.
McLeod finished fourth, with the Morpeth duo of Peter Newton Ian Hudspith fifth and sixth respectively, with the latter also taking the first Gadgie to cross the line.
The Kenyan duo of Joanne Chelimo and Gladys Yator led the women’s race from start to finish, with Chelimo crossing the line one second ahead of her Team Run-Fast colleague in a time of 29.42. Those times meant Chelimo and Yator finished 14th and 15th overall.
Chelimo said: “It was a difficult race, and I’m really pleased to have won.
“We ran together all the way, and it was only right at the end that we raced for the line and it was very close.
“I’m already looking forward to coming back here next year to defend the title.”
Kendal’s Rebecca Robinson ran 30.25 which saw her finish third for a second year in a row, while Wallsend’s Danielle Hodgkinson ended up fourth in a time of 31.44.
To purchase copies of photographs from the Blaydon Race go to www.chroniclelive.co.uk/buyaphoto or telephone 0191 201 6000. Alternatively visit our Front Reception, The Chronicle, Groat Market, Newcastle Upon Tyne. NE1 1ED.