We asked our friend, Justin Lagat, to get up a bit early and cover the Manchester Great Run for us, as Stuart Weir was in Loughborough today, Sunday, May 20, 2018, to cover a bit of athletics. Hello to our 40,000 plus friends in Birmingham.
Mo Farah and Tirunesh Dibaba are the new winners of the 2018 Simplyhealth Great Manchester run 10K
Today, Tirunesh Dibaba got to redeem herself from the disappointment of having had to drop out of the London marathon about a month ago. She did this by defending her Great Manchester Run title and winning it for a third consecutive time since 2016, with a very comfortable margin of 49 seconds.
Just after the starting gun had gone off, Joyciline Jepkosgei had taken to the front in a fast pace that saw her remaining alone at the front within the first kilometer as Dibaba, Birhane Dibaba and Betsy Saina, followed in a chasing pack of three.
But, at around the 3km point Tirunesh left the company of Saina and Birhane and started closing in on Jepkosgei. In a time of 15:40 at the 5km mark, Dibaba overtook Jepkosgei as she continued recording steady splits typical of a runner who had won in the same course a number of times before and knew exactly how to tackle every kilometer of the race. She easily started opening up a gap from the rest of the field and soon, no one could be seen behind her.
Dibaba crossed the finish line looking comfortable in a time of 31:08 followed by Jepkosgei in 31:57. Saina, who had been in the company of Birhane for the better part of the race, managed to break away from her in the last stages of the race to secure the podium position in 32:25.
Mo Farah thrilled his home ground fans in the men’s race after outsprinting Uganda’s Moses Kipsiro to win the race in 28:27, edging the latter by one second. Abel Kirui crossed the finish line in 28:52 for third place.
The men’s race unfolded in a different version whereby the runners were dropped by the pace and not by a single runner as the leading pack got smaller and smaller as the race progressed. Before reaching the halfway point, the leading pack was down to three; Abel Kirui, Moses Kipsiro and Mo Farah. They crossed the 5km point in 14:16 before Kipsiro pressed down the gas pedal some more and Kirui began to drop from the pack. The 6km split was 2:47 per kilometer, it was a fast pace that saw Kipsiro’s chest number almost falling down from his Jersey before he quickly grabbed and held it in his fist. He kept controlling the pace at the front as Farah hung just behind him. But, in the end, Farah employed the same finishing kick he had been using against his rivals on the track to upset Kipsiro.