A high quality field has been assembled for this weekend’s Great Manchester Run. Jacob Kiplimo, Stanley Biwott, Hellen Obiri and Edna Kiplagat are joined by British stars including Steph Twell, Mhairi MacLennan, Nick Goolab and Andy Vernon.
Hellen Obiri makes her debut over the 10km. The world 5,000m and world indoor 3,000m champion is expected to perform well over the longer distance after her World Cross Country Championship victory this year. Ruti Aga could be threat having won this year’s Tokyo Marathon and Edna Kiplagat will undoubtedly challenge with a best of 31:06.
In the men’s race Ugandan Kiplimo has run the fastest road 10km of all time with 26:41 but the downhill nature of the Madrid course means he is not the world record holder. Kiplimo comes into the race having finished second in the World Cross. A leading challenger could be former New York Marathon winner Stanley Biwott who is a bit of an unknown quantity with little high level racing over the last year.
Goolab in Flying Form
The race includes some excellent depth when it comes to British runners. Nick Goolab arrives in Manchester riding high after his 13:34 5km at Ipswich Twilight last weekend. The Belgrave man has a best of 28:22 also set this year when winning Brighton Marathon 10km.
European 10,000m silver medallist Andy Vernon is on the start list but suffered an injury in the build up to the Virgin London Marathon. Vernon, who has a track best of 27:42, posted a tweet on the 7th May saying he had been undergoing shockwave therapy and “hopefully I can be running completely pain free in the next couple of weeks.”
Jack Gray is another Brit arriving at the race in top form. The England 10km international ran 13:47 to finish 4th at the Ipswich Twilight 5km and recently ran a 10km PB in Brighton of 28:57. Under 23 Emile Cairess will be expecting to take a good chunk off his road PB having run 28:48 on the track in April.
The start list also features GB and England athletes such as Dan Studley, Dejene Gezimu and Alex Teuton. Sub four minute miler Ieuan Thomas will be looking to better his PB of 29:13 set at last years Telford 10km.
Twell to Challenge
Steph Twell is likely to be the leading British challenger and is coming into the race in great form having set a 10km PB of 31:57 to win Brighton Marathon 10km. Having recently been selected for the World 50km Championships Alyson Dixon races a month after finishing 16th at Boston Marathon.
Mhairi MacLennan will be a strong challenger having finished second to Twell in Brighton with a new PB of 32:59. The Helen Clitheroe coached athlete finished 32nd at the World Cross in March and arrives in fine form. Third on the UK all time list Gemma Steel races as does Inter -Counties XC Champion Jenny Nesbitt. Having spent time away training in the US Nesbitt recently ran a strong 32:46 at the Payton Jordan Invitational.
Strong Club Times Expected
This is a mass participation race on 10km course but also half marathon and quick times are expected over both with conditions looking ideal. Over 30,000 runners are expected to start on Sunday in what is one of the most popular running events in the UK.
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