12 MAR 2009 General News 12 March 2009 – Manchester, UK

Gebrselassie returns to run 10km in Manchester

Haile Gebrselassie wins 10km in Manchester in 2005 (Mark Shearman)Haile Gebrselassie wins 10km in Manchester in 2005 (Mark Shearman) © Copyright

Manchester, UKHaile Gebrselassie, arguably the world's greatest-ever distance runner having set a remarkable total of 26 World records/bests in his career will bid to win a second BUPA Great Manchester Run title on 17 May.

The BUPA Great Manchester Run is an IAAF Gold Label Road Race.

Gebrselassie is relishing returning to contest one of the world's leading 10 kilometres road races which attracts 33,000 entrants, as on his Manchester debut in 2005 he ran the fastest time ever on British roads of 27:25.

The 35-year-old Ethiopian, who in December 2002 posted his still standing World record for the distance of 27:02 in Doha, will be bidding to regain his UK All-Comers' mark. Kenya's 20-year-old Micah Kogo set a time of 27:21 with his victory two years ago.

"I like Manchester, it is a good fast course and I'm looking forward to returning," said Gebrselassie after winning the Dubai Marathon in mid January. "It fits perfectly into my programme.”

Kogo's mark should be well within his capabilities given his recent form, indeed there are suggestions over the quick terrain he might even better his world record and possibly become the first man to run under 27 minutes for the distance.

Gebrselassie after his last appearance, said: "The course was great and it is possible to break the world record here - had there been pacemakers I probably could have gone quicker."

Nicola Hedley (Nova International) for the IAAF