Kenenisa Bekele set a new course record as he claimed victory at The Vitality Big Half 2020 as part of his preparations for the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon.
Bekele recorded a time of 60 minutes and 22 seconds, seeing off strong competition from runner-up Chris Thompson.
The elite women’s race was full of British talent and it was Lily Partridge who took the win ahead of Samantha Harrison in a time of 70:50. Stephanie Davis finished third.
Brent Lakatos won the elite men’s wheelchair race as David Weir had to settle for second place ahead of his 21st London Marathon. Shelly Woods was victorious in the elite women’s wheelchair race.
Bekele was considered the favourite going into the race after Kenya’s Lawrence Cherono was forced to pull out through injury, but he was tested by Thompson from the start.
Thompson looked to set the pace in the early stages, hitting the front and leading out Bekele and the rest of the pack.
But Bekele, joined by Birchfield Harrier Omar Ahmed, soon reeled Thompson in.
Ahmed was dropped and Bekele led after halfway, aiming to create some distance between himself and Thompson as the gap between them opened over Tower Bridge.
And Bekele was all alone as he crossed the Finish Line at Cutty Sark, smashing Sir Mo Farah’s previous course record of 61:15. Thompson was second in 61:07 and Jake Smith third in 62:00.