Brave Briton Gemma Steel was pipped at the post in the 25th anniversary of the Bupa Great South Run.
Steel by name, steely by a nature – a home victory looked on the cards on the south coast as the 28-year-old led the world’s premier 10-mile event in Portsmouth heading into the final straight.
But Ethiopian Belaynesh Olijra had other ideas and mounted a late sprint finish to claim glory in a time of 52 minutes 40 seconds – two seconds ahead of Steel.
Kenya’s Doris Changeiwo completed the women’s podium places, finishing in third place in a time of 54.18.
Compatriot James Rungaru claimed race honours in the men’s event (46.31) overcoming Ugandan Abraham Kiplimo (46.38) with fellow Kenyan Joel Kimutai in third (47.21).
Local favourite Andy Vernon – hampered by a leg injury – finished in 12th place with a time of 48min53sec.