27 May Eightlane Review // Great Manchester 10k
Great Manchester 10k – Sunday 26th May by Luke Betts
The sun beamed down on Deansgate as thousands took to the streets to race at the BUPA Great Manchester Run as the streets filled with the numerous waves of runners, all with a different goal. Whether this goal was to win as an elite runner, run to a personal best or just to simply get round to raise money for charity it was an event to celebrate sport in Manchester and what the city has to offer.
In terms of racing from an athletics fan’s point of view, the men’s and women’s race’s did not disappoint. Getting away first was the women’s elite race, which on paper could only see one woman cross the line first, Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia who ran to a course record of 30.49 to clinch the win by over two and a half minutes. Athletes from Britain included Gemma Steel who finished 4th in a time of 33.02 who upon an interview expressed that she was relatively pleased with being the first British lady home but would have been more satisfied with a better performance and time after being almost 45 seconds behind her PB. Her next race is a 10k in New York where she hopes to “redeem” herself. Other Britain’s included Helen Clitheroe ( Interview HERE ) who can be proud of a 6th place finish after being out injured for most of the winter.
In the men’s race it was unfortunately not the 6th title Haile Gebresalassie has hoped for as he finished a respectful third in 28.00 minutes behind the marathon specialist Wilson Kipsang for second and winner Moses Kipsiro who won in a time of 27.52. The race was exciting from the start, as the relentless pace meant that only six athletes remained after the first mile, including Sergiy Lebid and Brit Jonny Mellor. Soon after however it became a three way battle as Stephen Mokoka was the last one to fall off the pace before the final charge for home. As Gebresalassie’s relaxed style began to suffer, it became clear that it wasn’t to be his day as the two athletes made their kick for home, one second separating the pair as the crowds encouraged the athletes into the finish.
Britains highest finishing athlete was Jonny Mellor ( Interview HERE ) who was able to finish 7th in a quality field with a time of 29.21 to round off a great weekend of athletics action in Manchester.