Athletics: Pavey ill after debut fourth

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The Independent Online

Jo Pavey was left frustrated yesterday despite finishing fourth on her half-marathon debut in the Great North Run after she fell ill in the final stages.

The 33-year-old came home in 1hr 10min 42sec, just over a minute slower than Paula Radcliffe on her first outing, but said she had felt "delirious" and unsure whether she would complete the course with 800 metres remaining.

The race was won by Berhane Adere at her fifth attempt in 1:10.03 to go one better than her second place in 2003 ahead of former winner Benita Johnson, of Australia, and Kenya's Susan Chepkemei. The quartet were among a leading group from the start and by the seven-mile stage had broken away from the rest.

It was not until the 12-mile stage that the leading trio broke away from Pavey, with Adere opening up a 10-metre lead to claim victory. Pavey had to be supported by race officials after crossing the line and was taken to the medical tent.

"I was really disappointed because I wanted to do better than that," the Commonwealth 5,000m silver medallist said.

"I was really enjoying it and looking forward to the bit on the seafront, but then it was like flicking a switch and I felt really weird. By 800 metres to go I felt completely delirious.

"I feel really drunk now - I feel like I've had two bottles of wine. It was not like I felt more and more tired - one second I was fine and one second I wasn't. With 800 metres to go I didn't think I would make it."

Hendrick Ramaala won the men's race for the third time in five attempts in 1:01.04. The South African was part of a group of three along with Dejene Berhanu and American debutant Dathan Ritzenhein who quickly took control.

Ramaala was unable to shake off his rivals until the 11-mile mark, but finished 19 seconds ahead of second placed Berhanu (1:01.23) with Ritzenhein three seconds farther behind.