Lagat Aims To Repeat Record-Breaking Effort

Great Comeback 3

To join Lagat, Hawkins and Vernon on the start line in May, enter online here 

DOUBLE Olympic medallist Bernard Lagat will aim to replicate his dazzling debut at the Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run with a similar performance in Europe’s biggest 10k event.

The 42-year-old Kenyan-born American returns to the streets of Manchester on Sunday, 28 May, two years after a record-breaking performance on the fast and flat course.

While much of Lagat’s athletics success has come in middle distance events, he has seriously impressed over 10km – smashing the Masters world record in Manchester two years ago when he clocked 27:48 on his 10km debut. 

He also holds the Masters record over the same distance on the track when he recorded 27.49 at the Payton Jordan Invitational in Palo Alto.

Lagat is confident that his second race in Manchester will bring similar rewards, and said: “I can’t wait to come back to Manchester and race again. I'm in good shape and really keen to run another fast 10k. I loved it there two years ago, and it’ll be great to return.

“There is some pretty tough competition there but I’ll be giving it my all and let’s see what happens.”

Lagat has appeared in five Olympic Games, winning silver and bronze in the 1500m in 2004 and 2000, representing Kenya. He has won 13 medals in Olympics and World Championships for both Kenya and the USA, winning gold on five occasions, and is the American record holder in the 1500m outdoors and indoors as well as the 3000m and 5000m outdoors.

He will come up against Great Britain’s Callum Hawkins, who was announced earlier this month as he bids to become the first British man to win in Manchester. 

Also announced is European silver medallist Andy Vernon, who will be making his debut in Manchester.

The distance runner, who will be looking to step up to the marathon distance following success over 10km and the half marathon, was a winner at last year’s Great Birmingham Run and finished runner-up in the Great South Run a week later.

The Aldershot, Farnham and District AC 31-year-old represented Great Britain at the 2016 Rio Olympics and with a 10km personal best of 27.42 achieved two years ago, he is confident of giving Hawkins and Lagat a run for their money in Manchester.

He said: “I’m looking forward to racing in Manchester. I have never done this event before but I’m always being told that it’s a good one to race in.

“You only have to look at the winning times over the years to know that it’s a fast course and with the competition high as always, it will be a good test for me.”

The Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run was first staged as a legacy event following the Commonwealth Games, held in Manchester in 2002, and has grown to be the largest of its kind in Europe. For the first time this year, the event will include a sold-out half marathon.

Attracting some of the world’s finest distance runners, Haile Gebrselassie, Tirunesh Dibaba, Kenenisa Bekele, Wilson Kipsang and Great Britain’s Jo Pavey have all graced the streets of Manchester.

To join Lagat, Hawkins and Vernon on the start line in May, enter online here