Ndereba set for 2009 Bupa Great South Run

Submitted by ATAF Editor on 29 September 2009 - 2:13pm

Two-times Olympic marathon silver medallist and world champion Catherine Ndereba will bid for the Bupa Great South Run title on Sunday 25 October in Portsmouth, says organisers.

Ndereba, one of the world's greatest ever distance runners and currently in great form, will bring her vast talent to the 10 miles road race in Portsmouth for the first time.

The 36-year-old Kenyan proved her competitiveness at the recent Philadelphia Distance Run when outpacing a high class field to win the half marathon race in an impressive time of 69 minutes 43 seconds.

Her victory in the American city, where she has lived for 15 years, was a clear indication she can challenge for the Portsmouth crown won last year by Paula Radcliffe, who posted a British record of 51 minutes 11 seconds.

"Ndereba's ran several of our events in the Great Run Series in previous years and it's great news she's accepted the opportunity to compete in Portsmouth," said Peter Riley, the Elite Athletes Manager.

"Of course she'll be stepping down in distance but her remarkable seventh victory in Philadelphia, one of the USA's top road running events, was achieved in a speedy fashion including a fast finish.

"I think the flat course will suit her style of running and I know she is looking forward to becoming the third Kenyan winner in succession to Esther Kiplagat (1999) and Rose Cheruiyot two years ago."

Ndereba, who rarely runs over 10 miles, has a personal best of 52min 25sec which was set over a decade ago but given she went through 15 kilometres (9.3 miles) in Philadelphia clocking 49min 48sec, that time will almost certainly be under threat.

The presence of Australia's former world cross country champion Benita Johnson, the 2004 Great South Run champion who loves forcing the early pace in any race, should also ensure a fast time.

Riley, with the Bupa Great South less than a month away, will announce the men's elite field in the next 10 days and add names to the women's race.