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Great Manchester Run: Eilish McColgan returns to defend her 10K title against field of elite runners

The Scottish athlete was first across the line in a record time for a European woman in last year’s event.

Great Britain athlete Eilish McColgan is returning to the city to defend her title in this year’s Great Manchester Run.

The Scottish runner set a new European women’s record time on the streets of Manchester in 2021 and is looking to make it back-to-back titles this time around.

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The elite women’s field is starting to take shape with former winners and top international talent on the list for the race on Sunday 22 May.

Hopes for a repeat performance from McColgan have also been lifted by her blistering victorious performance in the recent Vitality London 10,000.

Last year’s winner returns to the Great Manchester Run

Eilish McColgan won last year’s Great Manchester Run 10K in a time of 30:52 and will be on the start line to try to secure a second title later this month.

She is currently in a rich vein of form after winning at the Vitality London 10,000 where she came within two seconds of taking Paula Radcliffe’s British record for the distance which has stood for 19 years.

Eilish McColgan wins the women's elite race during the Vitality London 10,000m road race. Pic by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

McColgan said: “I’m looking forward to hitting the streets of Manchester again. Last year’s race was a great one for me and setting a European record was the icing on the cake.

“After coming so close to the British record yesterday, it’s exciting to have a fast, flat 10K coming up in a couple of weeks and I’m also looking forward to defending my title.

“There’s going to be some great talent on show, so I’m expecting a tough race, but I’m feeling good so let’s see what happens!”

Which other elite runners have confirmed they will be taking part?

McColgan will face some tough competition in the elite women’s race in Manchester as a couple of top athletes have confirmed they will be taking part.

The line-up includes Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich, the World Marathon Champion and the 2021 Chicago Marathon Champion.

Also in the field is 2019 Great Manchester Run winner Hellen Obiri, a four-time world champion and two-time Olympic silver medallist who also won the Great North Run in 2021 as she began her transition away from the track.

Hellen Obiri crossing the line to win the Women’s Race (Kevin Brady)

Obiri said: “I am very much enjoying the new challenge of being a road racer. I have run some half marathons so far this year and improved my personal best and I want to come to Manchester to do the same over 10k.

“I have good memories from winning in 2019 and remember the people in the city really supporting the event and all the runners.”

What else do I need to know about the Great Manchester Run?

The Great Manchester Run takes place over a 10k course through the streets of the city on Sunday 22 May and will be televised live on the BBC.

The elite women’s race gets under way at 11.15am.

The event is open to runners of all ages and abilities, with a huge field of mass participants taking part behind the elite athletes at the front.

As well as the 10k there is also a half marathon on the same day for those who want to take on the 13.1 mile challenge,

The event is renowned for its party atmosphere, with entertainment zones that celebrate the spirit of the city at every kilometre and huge crowds lining the roads to cheer everyone on.

Organisers are once again promising an inclusive celebration of Mancunian running.

To find out more or to enter the run, visit the website here.