Hellen Obiri believes her winning the Great North Half Marathon is a huge inspiration as she prepares for her full marathon debut in New York

Olympic 5,000m silver medallist Hellen Obiri said cheers from the crowd on the streets of Newcastle and a good course propelled her to clinch the title once again.

As compared to last year’s edition, when the Covid-19 pandemic was still raging — forcing the limitations on crowds — Obiri said this year's edition was well attended and the course favourable.

“Last year, the race was a bit tough due to the pandemic. However, this year’s edition has been amazing owing to the cheerful crowd. The course was also good unlike last year,” Obiri said.

Obiri won the Great North Run in 1:07:05, bettering her 1:07:42 from last year, ahead of Olympic marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir ( 1:07:07 ). Ethiopia’s Almaz Ayana placed third in 1:07:10.

Obiri, the world 10,000m silver medallist added: “It’s a good feeling. I am happy for what I have done.” 

She added that the race was not a walk in the park with the presence of Jepchirchir and Ayana, a former Olympic and world 10,000m champion.

“I knew they were there and I knew the race was going to be a tight battle. However, I told myself I am the best and I will do my best. I had a plan to kick in the last 200m and it worked out well,” she said.

“I am so excited about my marathon debut but I'm also aware of the tough competition that awaits me. Right now, I am going to prepare well and I am hoping I’ll be healthy. I just want to run well and cross the finish line,” Obiri concluded.


posted Wednesday September 14th
by Abigael Wuafula