Sir Mo Farah completed his last ever race in the Great North Run on Sunday – and afterwards told how his career has been “an amazing journey”.
The 40-year-old finished fourth with a time of 1 hour, 3 minutes and 28 seconds, with Ethopia’s Tamirat Tola coming in first after taking 59 minutes, 58 seconds to complete the race from Newcastle to South Shields.
Sir Mo is considered to be one of the greatest athletes of all time and has won four Olympic gold medals and six World Championship titles.
Reflecting on his achievements after he crossed the finish line of the famous 13.1-mile course, he said: “It’s been an amazing journey when I look back, there’s been so many messages from people all over the world saying thank you.
“It’s a joy to see that because I just enjoyed what I did and I committed and continued to push myself to win medals again and again.
“To look back from the other side now and see people saying to you, this is what you’ve given us, this is what you’ve done, is incredible to see.”
Sir Mo, who has won the race on Tyneside six times, was met with cheers and claps from the crowd as he completed the final stretch of the course in South Shields.
The most successful British track athlete in modern Olympic history offered high fives to his adoring fans, before crossing the finish line for the last time with a huge grin on his face.
Sir Mo described the support he received as “incredible,” adding: “When I woke up this morning I knew it was going to be emotional day. But I just tried to hold that back and get on with it, but I knew it was going to be a different day.
“I was trying to enjoy as much as I could, to take it all in, but I took it as just like another race. But honestly, just the support of the people along the course was just wow. I was trying to hold it back and get on with the race and give it a go.
“(When approaching the finish line) I knew my career was done, but I was trying to soak it in and engaging with the people.
“Honestly the people on the course was incredible, big support, (hearing them) ringing the bell, shouting out your name. I can’t believe the amount of people who turned up.”
Olympic marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir won the women’s elite race with a time of 1:06:45, and Briton Charlotte Purdue finished third, with 1:09:36.
Daniel Sidbury won the men’s wheelchair race, with David Weir finishing just behind him in second, while Samantha Kinghorn won the women’s competition.
Amateur runners were among the around 60,000 taking part in the race, and it is estimated they have raised an estimated £25m for charity.
Those pounding the pavements of Tyneside included 102-year-old Bill Cooksey – who hoped to become the oldest person to have completed the run.
Keith Turner became the first blind person to complete a half-marathon untethered. He was accompanied by his guide, Jim Roberts, who rang a bell to help him navigate the course.
Additional reporting by Press Association.