Robertson to target New Zealand 10km road record when he takes on Kenya’s Kipsang in Manchester in May

New Zealand’s Zane Robertson has set his sights on breaking the national 10km road record when he races the likes of Kenya’s Wilson Kipsang at the Great Manchester Run on May 22.

The Commonwealth 5000m medallist has pledged to ‘push the limits of beast mode’ on the streets of Manchester, with Jonathan Wyatt’s 20-year-old 10km record his target.

Robertson already holds the national records at 15km, 20km and half-marathon, and Wyatt’s 28:04 is the next step for the confident Kiwi at the IAAF Gold Label event, with him having run the distance in 28:10 when claiming victory at the Marugame Half Marathon in January 2015.

In Kipsang, Robertson will face a strong challenge, but he is a competitor Robertson knows well as he has trained with him while splitting his time between Kenya and Ethiopia.

Robertson moved to Iten with his twin brother Jake when they were 17 in a bid to improve themselves among African runners, and the 26-year-old is now living in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

He has targeted Olympic success for 2016, and expects Manchester to be the perfect warm-up for that.

“To be invited to the Great Manchester 10km is a great opportunity for me, I’ve been waiting for a while for the chance to run fast and after last year’s results this is the place to do it,” said Robertson, who will join 40,000 other runners on the start line in Europe’s biggest 10km event.

“With blessing from the weather, the New Zealand record will not survive. 10km is not very far on the road and I’m looking forward to pushing the limits of beast mode.

“The competitors will be tough I’m sure but in this race my biggest battle will be with myself and the clock.”

Kipsang finished fourth last year with a time of 27:53 – a matter of weeks after losing his London Marathon title to Eliud Kipchoge – and was second in Manchester in 2014 and 2013, the latter being the year he had his marathon world record-breaking run at the Berlin Marathon.

With Rio in his sights, and an improvement on the third-placed 2:09:37 he achieved at London 2012, Kipsang is once more in marathon action this year and has been named in a packed field for the London Marathon in April.

In between London and Rio falls Manchester, and the 34-year old is keen to make a good impression in Olympic year.

“I’m happy to run in Manchester again, as I always like to run there and for sure I hope to run well again with great competition,” said Kipsang. “My first main goal is London, because I want my London title back. When I run well in London I will run well in Manchester – as in the past.

“For now, I will keep my focus on my training for the coming five weeks and will also try to get as much rest I can get.”

For further information and to enter the Great Manchester Run visit www.greatrun.org/Manchester.