Werknesh Kidane will make a serious bid to lift the BUPA Great North Run title in this year's race in Newcastle, England on Sunday 18 September.
Though many team line-ups have already been decided, Monday 19 September, is the deadline for final entries for the 14th IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Edmonton, Canada, so the Newcastle race will provide one of the final qualification opportunities for many nations.
Kidane this year's World Cross Country short race silver medallist and third finisher in the long race, only ran her first half marathon nine days ago when winning the "Rock 'n' Roll" half marathon at Virginia Beach. Click here for race report
The 23-year-old who is the Ethiopian 10,000m track champion and came sixth at that distance in the World Championships in Helsinki has been over shadowed in the last couple of seasons by other Ethiopian stars such as the Dibaba sisters, Meserat Defar and Berhane Adere, who will also race, and will be anxious to make her mark at the distance.
"Before I ran the half marathon I thought it was too long," said Kidane. "Now I think it's really good," a determination for more half marathon success which saw her ask for a place in the Great North Run.
Kenya’s Catherine Ndereba. the current Olympic and World marathon silver medallist will be her stiffest opponent, and she will be equally motivated in her desire to bring Kenya its first success in the Newcastle to South Shields for four years.
Ndereba is currently the year’s fastest woman over the half marathon distance. In her build-up to the World Championship Marathon, she flew to the world's fastest time of the year of 69:24 in Sapporo, Japan at the beginning of July.*
Tulu's Edmonton warm-up
Werknesh's fellow Ethiopians Derartu Tulu the two-times Olympic 10000m gold medallist, who will lead the national team in Edmonton, and Berhane Adere, a former World Half Marathon champion, are in the stellar line-up, while Ndereba will be joined by fellow Kenyans Edith Masai, three times winner of the World Cross Country short race title and Sally Barsosio, the 1997 World 10,000m champion.
* Downhill course (69m) in Lisbon 13 March 2005
1:08:47 Susan Chepkemei KEN
1:09:17 Margaret Okayo KEN