European 10,000m champion Jo Pavey will get the chance to complete a historic hat-trick of Great Manchester Run titles when she returns to the IAAF Gold Label Road Race on Sunday 10 May, the event organisers announced on Wednesday (11).
Pavey hit the headlines last summer she won her first continental title as a 40-year-old.
Now 41, she intends to mix road and track competition in 2015 and the Morrisons Great Manchester Run will be her first major road race since 2012.
Pavey won the elite women’s race in Manchester, one of Europe’s biggest 10km road races, back in 2007 and 2008. A third success in 2015 would make her the first female to complete a hat-trick of victories in Manchester.
Only two other women have so far won the prestigious event twice. Ethiopia’s Berhane Adere won in 2003 and 2006, while her compatriot, the three-time Olympic gold medallist Tirunesh Dibaba, took the honours in 2013 and 2014.
There has only been one winner of the men’s race to have won more than three times, Haile Gebrselassie, who has racked up a total of five victories.
“I am really excited about racing the Morrisons Great Manchester Run, not least because I thought 2015 was going to be the year that I retired,” said Pavey, whose success last summer – less than a year after the birth of her second child, Emily – rightly persuaded her to defer plans to draw a line under her top-level racing career.
“To be thinking about competing in events like the Great Manchester Run is such a massive bonus for me, when I thought I’d be hanging up my racing shoes. It’s a great race and a great opportunity for me.”
Pavey intends to split her attention between track racing and road running this year. “I very much see this year as an opportunity to mix track with road,” said Pavey.
“Last year I had to focus solely on the track and really missed road racing. This year is a chance to mix the two because next year I’ll have to refocus on the track again.
“Obviously I would love to try to qualify for the Olympics in 2016, although I’m not complacent about that. It will be hard to get on the British team because there are a lot of good girls coming through.”
Pavey has competed for Britain at the past four Olympic Games. She has also been short-listed for the Comeback of the Year prize in the 2015 Laureus World Sports Awards, which are to be announced in Shanghai on 14 April.
A field of up to 40,000 is again expected for the event in Manchester and which will feature another ‘forty-something’ trailblazer in the men’s race the shape of the USA’s former world 1500m and 5000m champion Bernard Lagat.
Organisers for the IAAF