Ethiopian legends face Wilson Kipsang and Europe’s finest in big road test in Manchester

Kenenisa Bekele and Tirunesh Dibaba lead a stellar line-up at the Great Manchester Run on Sunday (May 22).

Bekele is the world record-holder for 5000m and 10,000m and placed third in last month’s London Marathon in 2:06:36.

A winner in Manchester over the 10km course in 2014 after beating Wilson Kipsang into second, Bekele won the Great North Run in 2013 from Mo Farah and Haile Gebrselassie in what has been described as the greatest road race of all time and has also won the Great Ireland Run twice.

Dibaba, meanwhile, is making her racing comeback after having a child last year and is looking to win her third consecutive Olympic 10,000m title in Rio in August. Victory in Manchester would give the 30-year-old another treble – as she has won the Great Manchester Run in 2013 and 2014 with a course record of 30:49 set when claiming her first victory.

Former world marathon record-holder Kipsang could be Bekele’s closest rival as he returns to Manchester this Sunday along with fellow Kenyan Edna Kiplagat for the IAAF Gold Label road race.

While African athletes are expected to lead the way, some top European runners are also in the field. They include Christelle Daunay and Daniele Meucci, the reigning European marathon champions, plus Zane Robertson of New Zealand and Britain’s 2014 Euro Cross champion Gemma Steel.

The Great Manchester Run is the final part of a weekend of running action in the city, with the Great CityGames Manchester having kicked things off on Friday, followed by the Junior and Mini Great Manchester Run on the Saturday.

» Check out the May 19 edition of AW magazine for a more in-depth look ahead to this weekend’s Great Manchester Run action. Further details can be found at www.greatrun.org/great-manchester-run

TIMETABLE

Sunday May 22

10:55 Elite wheelchair race start
11:12 Elite women’s race start
11:37 Elite men’s race and orange wave start
11:55 White wave start
12:25 Blue wave start
13:10 Green wave start
13:30 Pink wave start