MANCHESTER will welcome some of the world's finest distance runners to this weekend's Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run.
Sir Mo Farah will be taking on Abel Kirui and Moses Kipsiro over 10KM which is broadcast live on BBC Two on Sunday 20 May.
In the women's race, world record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei will battle it out with Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run champion Tirunesh Dibaba in Europe's biggest 10K.
All eyes will be on Sir Mo, who has made a successful transition from the track to the roads, adding a hugely-impressive third place in the London Marathon to his victory in April's The Big Half.
The ten-time world and Olympic champion will be racing his first 10KM on the road since announcing his retirement from the track after last year's World Championships.
The 35-year-old, who has won the Simplyhealth Great North Run a record four consecutive times, will not have things easy in Manchester on Sunday, with competition in the form of Kipsiro and Kirui.
Kenyan Kirui has two world championship gold medals to his name, won back to back in 2009 and 2011. He took silver in the marathon at London 2012 and has taken victories in the Chicago, Vienna and Berlin marathons. The 36-year-old finished fourth in last month's London Marathon.
Kipsiro, meanwhile, is fresh from victory in the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham 10K a fortnight ago.
The women's race is shaping up to be a classic encounter, with Jepkosgei and Dibaba leading a mouthwatering list of distance runners.
Kenyan Jepkosgei – the only woman ever to run a 10K under 30 minutes – broke the existing 10K road record on her way to a half marathon world record at the Prague Half Marathon last year, and in September last year she improved on that when she clocked a sensational 29.43 at the Prague Grand Prix.
The 24 year old starts as a slight favourite in the women's elite race in the city centre of Manchester but will be up against some top international talent in the live, televised event.
Dibaba, meanwhile, is the reigning queen of the Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run. The triple Olympic champion took victory on Deansgate in 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017.
The Ethiopian competed in the London Marathon last month but retired not long after the 30KM mark in a race won by Vivian Cheruiyot.
Diane Nukuri has also been announced for the race which sees Sir Mo Farah take on allcomers in the men's field.
The Burundi-born American-based athlete competed in the Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000 at the age of 15, and represented Burundi again 12 years later when she took on the marathon in London.
Nukuri finished third to Dibaba in 2016's Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run clocking 31.49.
Fellow Kenyan Betsy Saina will take on Jepkosgei, Dibaba and Nukuri, who she competed against in the 2016 Olympic Games 10,000m final in Rio de Janeiro.
Saina, who won in Manchester in 2015, will take to the streets of Manchester just a month after her victory in the Paris Marathon.
Domestic interest will come in the shape of Gemma Steel and the in-form Lily Partridge.
The Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run 10K has welcomed the world's best athletes owing to its fast and flat course with a city centre start and finish.
Haile Gebrselassie, Kenenisa Bekele, Wilson Kipsang, Vivian Cheruiyot, Paul Tergat and Great Britain's Jo Pavey have all graced the streets of Manchester, while hundreds of celebrities have also taken on the event, raising money for charities and other good causes.
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, with more than 300,000 finishers crossing the line in its 15-year history.
It is the United Kingdom's third biggest mass-participation running event behind the Simplyhealth Great North Run and the London Marathon.
New for 2017 was a half marathon distance which will return for 2018. The 10K and half marathon both start on Portland Street, the half marathon plots a course to Manchester City's Etihad Stadium, before heading west to Manchester United's Old Trafford, where it picks up the 10K route back into the city centre, finishing on Deansgate alongside the iconic Beetham Tower.
To enter the Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run, visit greatrun.org/manchester