Farah, Dibaba Lead All-Star Cast At Great Manchester Run

Less than a month after his third-place finish at the London Marathon, Mo Farah will return to the streets of Great Britain. On Sunday at the Great Manchester Run, the 10-time global champion will race a 10K—the distance that provided him with some of the greatest triumphs of his career.

While Farah is now a full-time marathoner, his history in the shorter distances gives him an advantage over the field. Stanley Biwott, Feyisa Lilesa, and Abel Kirui are also scheduled to race, making this a battle among some of the most accomplished marathoners in the world. 

Biwott is the 2015 New York City Marathon and has finished second twice in London. Lilesa took silver at the 2016 Olympics. Most recently, he placed sixth in the Tokyo Marathon. But perhaps Farah’s best competition will come from the man who finished one place behind him in the London MarathonKirui. The Kenyan ran 2:07:07 for fourth in April and won the gold medal at the 2009 and 2011 World Championships.  

The British hopes reside in the legs of Jonny Mellor. The 31-year-old has a personal best of 28:50 and finished 14th at this year’s London Marathon. 

As always, Farah looks to be up to the task. At the London Marathon, he turned in a strong performance, competing gamely against a top field and setting the British record of 2:06:21.

In his last two non-marathon appearances on the road, Farah showed no vulnerabilities. In his tune-up for the marathon, he ran 1:01:40 at the Big Half in London. Last fall, he won the Great North Run in 1:00:06, defeating Jake Robertson and Lelisa in the process. 

Dibaba, Jepkosgei Clash In Women's Race

Six-time gold medalist and 5000m world record holder Tirunesh Dibaba makes up one half of a dynamic women’s field. The 32-year-old has made winning the Great Manchester Run a staple of her career. She’s won the race on seven occasions, including last year where she took the victory by over two minutes. 

Winning on Sunday will be much more difficult. Waiting for her in Manchester is Joyciline Jepkosgei of Kenya. Jepkosgei doesn’t have the global championships like Dibaba, but she has fast times. Lots of them.


A quick review of Jepkosgei’s 2017: 

April 1, Prague: Runs 1:04:52 to break the world record in the half marathon. En route to the finish she also breaks the records for 10K (30:04), 15K (45:37), and 20K (1:01:25).

September 9, Prague: Runs 29:43 to better her own 10K record, while also setting the 5K world record en route (14:32).

October 22, Valencia: Breaks her half marathon world record by one second, running 1:04:51. 

By comparison to that historic 2017, Jepkosgei's 2018 has been a bit of a struggle. 

At the RAK Half Marathon in February, Jepkosgei finished fifth in a stacked field, running 1:06:46. The next month, she placed second at the World Half Marathon Championships in Valencia with a 1:06:54. 

Regardless of whether she’s in world record form, Sunday’s matchup with Dibaba should be fascinating. 

Dibaba’s 2018 hasn’t been sensational either—she dropped out of the London Marathon after trying to run with the hot pace of Mary Keitany in the early miles. But Dibaba’s early departure—she stopped running around the 19-mile mark—means that she should be ready for a hard effort. 

Though she doesn’t have the world records of Jepkosgei on the roads, Dibaba has run 30:30 on the roads and 29:42 on the track. The two raced each other in 2017 at the RAK Half Marathon. Jepkosgei finished third in the race with a 1:06:08, while Dibaba took fifth in 1:06:50.

Six weeks after her breakthrough marathon effort, Betsy Saina will try to give Jepkosgei and Dibaba some company. Saina ran 2:22:56 to win the Paris Marathon on April 6 after two DNFs in the marathon in 2017. Prior to the marathon, Saina was a force in shorter distances. She was fifth in the 2016 Olympic 10,000m, running 30:07. She also has a 5000m personal best of 14:39.

Shalane Flanagan Retires From Professional Running

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One of the greatest distance runners in American history has retired: Four-time Olympian and 2017 New York City Marathon champion Shalane Flanagan announced on Monday that her incredible professional running career is over after 15 years.

Weekend Recap: NAU Keeps On Chugging, UW States Their Case

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This past weekend of NCAA cross country gave us a much clearer picture of how the rest of the 2019 campaign will unfold. With the Nuttycombe and Pre-National Invitationals bringing together the best squads across the country, team title favorites strengthened their cases while top individuals emerged from the crowded pack to position themselves at the front heading into the postseason.

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We outlined the big questions for the women’s race this Saturday in Terre Haute; now here’s what to watch for in the men’s race. 

The 3 Biggest Questions From The Pre-Nats Women's Race

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Less than 24 hours after the Nuttycombe Invitational, the second big NCAA cross country meet of the weekend gets going in Terre Haute. The Pre Nationals meet at the site of this year’s NCAA Championships features four of the top seven women’s teams in the nation. Here are three big questions that will be answered in the race: 

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Kelati, Werner, Monson Collide At Nuttycombe | Women's Preview

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The women’s race at Friday’s Nuttycombe Invitational in Madison functions as a preview for November’s NCAA Championships. Yes, some top teams and individuals will compete the next day at the Pre Nationals meet in Terre Haute, but the fields in Wisconsin will be stacked. Three of the top four teams in the nation are set to race (and six of the 10, and eight of the top 12). 

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Last month, the NAU men’s team began their season as expected. The winners of the last three NCAA titles went to Terre Haute for the John McNichols Invitational, held out two of their best runners and still beat second-ranked Stanford by a comfortable margin. 

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