runbritain Grand Prix update: three days until Bupa London 10,000

MoMo Farah will kick-off his Olympic Games build-up when he defends his title at the Bupa London 10,000 against Scott Overall on Sunday 27 May - round two of the runbritain Grand Prix.

The world 5000m champion has been an ever-present at this increasingly popular road race since it started in 2008. After finishing third in the inaugural event he has now won three in a row, notching up British records in 2009 and 2010.

His winning time two years ago of 27 minutes 44 seconds remains the course record, while last year he chose to cruise home in a relatively modest 29:15 as he geared up for a brilliant summer on the track where he set a European record over 10,000m, a British record over 5000m, and became world 5000m champion in Daegu.

With all eyes on Farah ahead of the London Olympic Games, this will be a good chance to assess his form and fitness in his first outdoor race of the year just two months before the big event in Hackney Wick.

Overall - who still holds pole position in the runbritain National Ladder - will be Farah’s main opponent as he goes for his fourth straight victory in the annual event, which incorporates the UK national 10km road championships.

Overall made a career-changing decision this time last year to become a full-time marathon runner. He qualified for the Olympics on his debut in Berlin last September, was named in the British team in December and has been preparing for an appearance in his home-town Games ever since.

So far this year, Overall won the adidas half marathon at Silverstone in March, and set a personal best of 61:25 finishing eighth at the New York Half Marathon, so his 10km PB of 28:49 could come under threat here as he takes the opportunity to test out the Olympic marathon course.

Overall will certainly be looking to improve on his only previous appearance in the Bupa 10,000 three years ago when he was seventh in 29:36.

Currently, after just one race in the 2012 runbritain Grand Prix (the Mizuno Reading Half Marathon), Darren Deed (Bedford & County) leads the men and Justina Heslop (Clapham Chasers) leads the women.

The standings to date can be viewed through the following link.

Mara Yamauchi will also be keen to get a feel for the route as she takes top billing in the women’s race exactly 10 weeks before her bid for an Olympic marathon medal on 5 August.

There are few athletes more familiar with these streets than Yamauchi who has raced the London Marathon six times, including in 2009 when she produced a marvellous run to finish second behind Germany’s Irina Mikitenko, becoming the second quickest Briton of all time.

It was the same result when she took on the German in the first London 10,000 in 2008 when Yamauchi clocked 32:26, just 24 seconds adrift of the winner. Yamauchi was sixth in the Beijing Olympic marathon a few weeks later, and she returns to this event following a four-year absence hoping to get close to her PB of 31:43.

Yamauchi’s main threat will come from Freya Murray, the north-east based Scot who enjoyed an impressive debut at the Virgin London Marathon in April. Murray was the second Briton home behind Claire Hallissey in 13th place clocking 2 hours 28 minutes 10 seconds and is ranked sixth on the runbritain women’s National Ladder.

This will be her debut in the London 10,000. She set her personal best of 32:28 when winning the 2009 Great Yorkshire Run in Sheffield, a title she retained in 2010 when she also won the Great Ireland Run.

Alongside the elites will be teams of up to six runners from UK clubs competing for places in the UK 10km championship race, with the cumulative times of the first three finishers counting towards the team prize.

In among the Britons, there will also be nine Japanese athletes running as guests, including members of their London Olympic marathon teams: in the men’s, Kentaro Nakamoto, who was 10th in the 2011 World Championships marathon, and Arata Fujiwara, runner-up in this year’s Tokyo marathon; and in the women’s, Yoshimi Ozaki, the 2009 World Championships silver medallist, and Risa Shigetomo, winner of the Osaka marathon this year.

Behind them all will be some 10,000 fun runners, celebrities and charity fund raisers looking for lifetime bests and personal satisfaction on the roads where the world’s best marathon runners will race for Olympic glory in two months’ time.

Round three of the runbritain Grand Prix takes place at the Admiral Swansea Bay 10k on Sunday 23 September.

Entry is available online through the free runbritain online entry system.