It was a hard-fought battle for Stephen Sambu and Betsy Saina who both took home wins at the Morrison’s Great Manchester Run Sunday morning.
Former Arizona All American Sambu covered the 10k course in a winning time of 27:30 to finish eight seconds ahead of runner-up Stephen Mokoka. Sambu’s performance was the third-fastest time ever at the historic 10k road race. Mokoka’s race was also one for the record-books as the South African athlete beat the 35-year-old national record by 22 seconds.
Third-place finisher Bernard Lagat continued on his streak of ageless performances with a time of 27:48 to break Haile Gebrselassie’s Masters World record by 12 seconds. Lagat also tied the U.S. open 10k record set by Mark Nenow in 1985. Five-time Great Manchester Run winner Gebrselassie finished 16th overall in 30:05.
Just two weeks after finishing runner-up to Eliud Kipchoge at the London Marathon, former marathon world record-holder Wilson Kipsang
closed for fourth-place overall in 27:53. His performance was 35 seconds faster than last year and came within five seconds of Lagat.
On the women’s side, Saina took off from the gun with fellow Kenyan Caroline Kilel in an attempt to leave nothing to chance. It was a plan that paid off for the former Iowa State NCAA Champion as she broke the tape first in a winning time of 31:49.
European Cross Country Champion Gemma Steel
was able to close hard for a runner-up finish in 31:55, just six seconds away from Saina. World Marathon champion Edna Kiplagat
crossed the line in third-place for a finishing time of 31:57. She was returning from finishing 11th at the London Marathon two weeks prior. And Kilel was able to hold on for fourth overall in a time of 32:18. The 2011 Boston Marathon winner was returning from a sixth-place finish at this year’s marathon three weeks ago.