Sunday saw the streets of Manchester filled with runners taking part in the Bupa Great Manchester Run. Now in its 11th year, the race sees some of the world’s best athletes competing alongside 40,000 runners of all abilities, many of whom are raising millions for the various charities they are running for.
First off from the start line are the wheel chair athletes, which is more and more popular every year. First home in the Men’s race was Simon Lawson in 22:34, Phil Hogg (BWAA) took second place in 24:01 and Stuart Bloor (Stockport Harriers) rounded out the podium in 25:45. In the Women’s event 2011 race winner Nikki Emerson (BWAA) pipped Jane Egan (Red Star) in the finishing straight to win by 2 seconds, Liz McTernan (Cleethorpes AC) finished off the podium.
In the Ladies Elite 10K Tirunesh Dibaba was the overwhelming favourite, moving to the front after 1500 meters, she continued to pull away from all her rivals to win in a time of 30 mins 49 secs – a new course record. Jelena Prokopcuka finished a distant second (32:21), with Christelle Dauney coming back for her spectacular fall in the opening mile to finish third (32:33). Gemma Steel finished fourth to take the honour of first Brit.
In the men’s race Haile Gebrselassie was hoping to add a 6th win at the Bupa Great Manchester Run, along with a tilt at setting a new World Masters record (over 40’s) for 10K to his long list of achievements. Moses Kipsiro and Wilson Kipsang were going to be the ones to stop him. These three soon could be seen at the head of affairs along with Stephen Mokoka, and the likes of Sergiy Lebid and Liverpool’s Jonny Mellor.
Gebrselassie, Kipsiro and Kipsang went though 5K in 14:08, leaving Gebrselassie in with a great chance of breaking the Masters record held by Portugal’s Paulo Catarino which stood at 28:51. As they approached 1KM to go Gebrselassie was starting to tie up, dropping back slightly and leaving it up to Kipsiro and Kipsang to sort out the honours this year.
Kipsang jumped first and looked to be heading for the win before a late surge carried Kipsiro past to take the win in 27:52. Halie Gebrselassie stopped the clock dead on 28 minutes to shatter the World Masters record, a small consolation at for not being able to repeat his previous 5 wins – though he may well return in 2014. Jonny Mellor took the honours for first Brit in 7th place with a time of 29:21.