Pavey and Farah are National Ladder leaders

There were fast wins for Africans Wilson Kipsang (59:06) and Tirunesh Dibaba (67:35) in Sunday’s Great North Run, but there were also some credible British performances which resulted in some significant changes in the runbritain National Ladder positions based on runbritain’s unique running handicap system.

In the women's race, Jo Pavey - seventh place finisher in the Olympic 5000m and 10,000m - was close to her PB with 69:20 in fifth having stayed with the leaders until past halfway. She returns to the top of the runbritain National Ladder by the smallest of margins from her Olympic Games team mate Julia Bleasdale. As Pavey gears up for Yokohama Women’s Marathon in Japan in November, the pair are likely to continue to trade places.

Gemma Steel finished seventh in the Great North in a PB time of 70:46 to go second in the rankings and into the all-time top ten, while Caryl Jones also set a PB with 71:18 in eighth, which placed her third in the UK rankings. As a result, both athletes improved their overall runbritain handicaps and now lie fourth and fifth respectively in the National Ladder behind Claire Hallissey in third, with Freya Murray in sixth after her 72:23 ninth place finish in Newcastle.

In the men's race, Olympic 10,000m representative Chris Thompson went top of the McCain Power of Ten rankings with his sixth place personal best of 61:00 which put him third on the UK all-time list and elevated him to second in the men’s National Ladder.

One day previously in the Great North City Games, Mo Farah underlined his dominant lead with victory in the two mile event, although he conceded that the pressure of a whirlwind month since his London 2012 heroics had started to take its toll despite the apparent ease of his win: "My lungs were on fire. Seriously, I was blowing for the first mile because it was pretty quick and I was thinking, 'I hope it's not going to carry on at this pace'. It slowly eased off, but I still had to work for it. It wasn't as easy as I thought,” he said.

Olympic 5000m runner Nick McCormick made a strong half marathon debut with 62:44 in ninth place which puts him third in the rankings and third on the National Ladder with Andy Baddeley dropping two places to fourth, although the pair, plus Thompson, all share a -5.6 handicap.