The 2012 Olympic Games gold medallist in 10,000m Galen Rupp will be the star to watch at the 40th edition of the Great North Run that will be held on Sunday (12) from Newcastle to South Shields in England.
The 2016 Rio marathon bronze medallist is coming off of an eighth place finish in the Olympic Marathon in Sapporo last month. A veteran of seven half-marathons, the former Oregon Duck carries on his shoulder a personal best of 59:47 that he got at the 2018 Roma-Ostia half-marathon in Italy.
The 35 year-old American will battle for the top honors as he faces off with the recently crowned bronze medallist in the marathon at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Somali-born Belgian Bashir Abdi who knows this streets well having participated in this race in 2018 where he finished in third place in 1:01.42. The 32 year-old has a personal best of 1:01.50 that he got in 2017 at the Lille Half Marathon in France.
Other established athletes slated to run are Britain’s Marc Scott who has a personal best of 1:00.35 and Jake Smith of 1:00.31 and Belgium’s Soufiane Bouchikhi of 1:02.59 are also competing on the men’s side, as is Britain’s Charlotte Purdue (1:08:23).
This year’s race has the inclusion of several track athletes making their half-marathon debuts. Those include Stewart McSweyn, the Australian record holder for both the mile (3:48.37) and 10,000m (27:23.80); Eilish McColgan, the British record holder for 5000m (14:28.55); Edward Cheserek, the Kenyan record holder for the indoor mile (3:49.44); and Dominique Scott, the South African record holder for 3000m indoors (8:41.18).
The assembled elite athletes will be fighting to try and lower the race course record of 58:56 that was set in 2011Kenya’s Martin Mathathi.