In the wheelchair race, David Weir took over a minute off the course record with a time of 41:34, and the women's race was won by Amanda McGrory in a time of 49:47.
Lel's second Great North Run victory indicates that he has finally overcome the problems which have hampered him so far this year.
The 30-year-old Kenyan had been hoping to win the London Marathon for a fourth time but was forced to pull out on the morning of the race because of a hip injury, which also kept him out of the marathon at August's world championships in Berlin.
"I was well prepared for this race but, as I had not competed for so many months, I was still not certain of what might happen," said Lel.
"I always felt in control and there was no problems from my hip in what was a very fast race and against a very tough field whom I respected."
Weir delighted with Great North record
Augusto said she was surprised none of her more experienced rivals attempted to follow her as she made a breakaway with Nikki Chapple after three miles.
"I knew I was in good shape but with so many good Ethiopians and Kenyans here I didn't expect to get a medal and I was surprised when they did not challenge me when I pulled away," said the Portuguese 27-year-old European cross-country silver medallist.
"This is the biggest win of my career and to also run my fastest-ever half marathon time is something I am really happy with."
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