Zersenay Tadesse set a new world best for the half-marathon as he destroyed a class field to win the Great North Run.
The Eritrean broke away from pre-race Dejene Berhanu and kept accelerating through the later stages to win in a staggering 59 minutes and five seconds.
Ethiopia's Deratu Tulu blew away her rivals to win the women's elite race from her compatriot Worknesh Kidane.
Tulu set a quick early pace and broke away from Kidane and Berhane Adere on a fast downhill section at nine miles.
She came home in 1hr 7 mins 3 secs to become the first Ethiopian woman to win the event.
Kidane was overtaken by Latvia's Jelena Prokopcuka in the last mile but fought back to take second.
Tulu said: "I thought it would be a much harder race.
"It has always been my ambition to win this event. I have tried two or three times before but on this occasion I knew I was coming into the race injury-free."
Tadesse's winning time was a second quicker than Paul Tergat's previous world half-marathon best.
But it will not count as a world record because the course loses too much elevation over its 13.1 miles.
Tadesse said: "I didn't know I had broken the record. I didn't expect to do it."
John Mayock was the first Briton home, in sixth - taking over a minute off his personal best and beating rival Jon Brown by two places.
Mayock said: "I am really pleased. I didn't expect to be two places in front of Jon. I can't remember the last time I beat him."
Britain's Mara Yamauchi ran an excellent race to finish sixth in the women's race, beating one of the pre-race favourites Catherine Ndereba.