Marathon Stars to Clash at Bupa Great Manchester Run

By David Monti, Race Results Weekly

(14-May) — The present and previous marathon world record holders, Kenya’s Patrick Makau and Ethiopia’s Haile Gebrselassie, will clash at Sunday’s Bupa Great Manchester Run 10-K, organizers announced.

Gebrselassie, 39, first set the world record at the BMW Berlin Marathon on 30 September, 2007 (2:04:26), then lowered it to 2:03:59 at the same race one year later.  That record held until 25 September 2011 when Makau, now 27, broke it on 25 September, 2011.  Gebrselassie is now the #3 marathoner of all time on a record-standard course because Kenya’s Wilson Kipsang, the 2012 Virgin London Marathon champion, ran 2:03:42 at the BMW Frankfurt Marathon last October.

Joining Gebrselassie (who is a four-time Great Manchester Run champion) and Makau on the starting line will be Ethiopians Tsegaye Kebede, the 2008 Olympic and 2009 IAAF World Championships marathon bronze medalist, and Ayele Abshero, the fastest marathon runner of 2012 who clocked 2:04:23 in Dubai back in January.

The women’s contest offers a mix of track and road racing athletes.  Kenya’s Linet Masai, the 2011 IAAF World Championships bronze medalist at 10,000m gets the #1 seed.  But three British women –marathoner Mara Yamauchi, and road racers Charlotte Purdue and Gemma Steel– hope to challenge the willowy Kenyan who has run 30:48 on the roads.  Doris Changeiywo, the 2010 Commonwealth Games 10,000m silver medalist, is also in the field.

Fast times have been achieved on the Manchester course which has a record-legal 10 meters of elevation loss.  The men’s course record is 27:21 by Kenya’s Micah Kogo (2007), and the women’s standard is 31:07 by Ethiopia’s Berhane Adere (2006).

The race is organized by Nova International, Britain’s largest race organizer.

PHOTO: Patrick Makau on his way to breaking the world marathon record in Berlin in 2011 (photo courtesy of the BMW Berlin Marathon)

RESOURCES: Elite entry lists for 2012 Bupa Great Manchester Run 10-K are attached.

(c) 2012 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved, used with permission

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