Bupa Great Manchester Run, Purdue first Brit in fourth

Haile Gebrselassie recorded a fifth victory and a brilliant 2012 World Leading 10k time of 27 minutes 39 seconds at today's Bupa Great Manchester Run (Sunday 20 May), proving that despite setbacks in his marathon career he is still the master craftsman over 10 kilometres.
In the women's race, World 10,000m gold medallist Linet Masai of Kenya was equally dominant when taking the title in 31:35 while the diminutive Charlotte Purdue, coached by Mick Woods at the Aldershot, Farnham & District club, was first British women's finisher in fourth.
The "Emperor", as Gebreselassie is affectionately known, decimated the current crop of top marathoners in ideal running conditions with his fastest 10km performance since clocking exactly the same time on the fast and flat course Manchester course with victory three years ago.

In fact, he has been unbeaten at the IAAF Gold Label event in Manchester since then and today he virtually tied up the latest win when stepping up a gear after just three kilometres.
The 39-year-old eased into the race alongside a vintage pack of world class rivals which included Patrick Makau - the Kenyan who took away his marathon World Record in Berlin last autumn - plus his fellow Ethiopian's Tsegay Kebede and Ayele Abshero, before stretching the pace.
It was a decisive break which left his younger opponents reeling as he forged to his 17th victory in 19 appearances since making his 10km debut 18 years ago.
While Gebreselassie had time to enjoy his win, Kebede, the 2008 Olympic marathon bronze medallist, and Ayele Abshero fought a thrilling encounter for the minor positions.

Their encounter went to the wire and they staged a grandstand finish to share new personal best times and their first ever sub-28min clockings of 27:56.
"For me it was just great that I ran so quickly and it reflected on what my training suggested I might do," said Gebreselassie. "For a change the Manchester weather was good and I felt very good from start to finish."
Masai, the odds-on women's favourite, was never troubled and was quite happy to follow a fairly quick pace imposed by Britain's Mara Yamauchi who was looking to get some speed into her legs before her second successive Olympic Marathon appearance in August for Team GB.
Yamauchi led a group of Europeans including her British colleagues Gemma Steel and Charlotte Purdue through 3km in 9:29, with Masai and fellow Kenyan's Doris Changiwo and Irene Jerotich tagged on the back of the pack.
Steel - who has been the host nation's most prominent road and cross country runner for the last 12 months and won the SPAR Great Ireland Run ahead of Purdue - surprisingly fell away with Ejjafini taking up the pace.
Then at 5km Masai put in a telling surge which immediately broke the backs of her rivals and saw her roar away to a 17 second victory from 34-year-old Ejjafini who was rewarded with a PB, and Changeiywo, the 2010 Commonwealth Games marathon silver medallist, who recorded 32:04.
Soon after came the fastly moving feet of 20-year-old Purdue, a former European Junior Cross Country title holder, who won the battle of the British contingent in a time of 32:13, only marginally outside her best time ever.

Yamauchi was sixth and Steel ninth, the pair crossing the line in 32:28 and 33:42 respectively.

Purdue and Steel are hoping to be selected for the Aviva GB & NI European Cup 10,000m in Bilbao when the team is picked tomorrow. Purdue in particular will be targeting the Olympic 10,000m 'A' qualifying time.  

"Mara was pushing the pace then at 5km Masai put in a big surge and I found myself running on my own. But I'm happy with how it went," said Purdue.

Bupa Great Manchester Run (10km)

Results summary


1: H Gebrselassie (Ethiopia) 27:39

2: T Kebede (Ethiopia) 27:56 

3: A Abshero (Ethiopia)

4: S Kiprotich (Uganda) 28:19

5: P Makau (Kenya) 28:21


1: L Masai (Kenya) 31:35

2: N Ejjafini (Italy) 31:52

3: D Changeiywo (Kenya) 32:04

4: C Purdue (GBR) 32:13

5: A Incerti (Italy) 32:23