Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele saw off double world and Olympic champion Mo Farah's late surge to win the Great North Run in a thrilling sprint finish.
Britain's Farah chased down Bekele in the last 400m in a great finale but was pipped to the line by one second.
Another Ethiopian, Haile Gerselassie, was a distant third after falling behind in the last of the 13.1 miles.
"I'm disappointed but I was second to a great athlete," said Farah who finished in one hour and 10 seconds.
The sight of Farah and Bekele going toe-to-toe in the last 200m was a fitting conclusion to what had been an eagerly-anticipated race from Newcastle to South Shields.
The three distance running greats, Farah, Bekele and Gerselassie, were together until Bekele broke free down the final hill.
"When Kenenisa went with a mile to go I thought the pace was ridiculous," said the 30-year-old Farah.
"I thought I could come back. It came to the last 200m, right to the line. It was a great race and a great finish."
Kenya's Priscah Jeptoo came close to breaking the course record as she ran magnificently to win the women's race.
Jeptoo, this year's London marathon winner and the reigning Olympic marathon silver medallist, clocked a time only five seconds slower than the 65 minutes 40 seconds which was recorded 10 years ago by Britain's Paula Radcliffe.
Ethiopia's Meseret Defar crossed the line behind Jeptoo in 66.09 but ahead of another pre-race favourite Tirunesh Dibaba.
David Weir, who was inaugurated into the Great North Run Hall of Fame this week, won the men's wheelchair race for a fourth time.
"It was a good test to see where I'm at," said Weir, the course record holder, who crossed the line in 43.03.
"I surprised myself. I've only been back pushing for a couple of weeks so I'm really pleased with that time."
Britain's Shelly Woods claimed her fifth title after winning the women's wheelchair race and admitted it was a tough day.
"They wind was swirling and I found it difficult out there," said the 27-year-old. "I'm doing the New York marathon in November and this is great preparation for it."