Harriers' Andrea Whitcombe aims for Swansea Bay 10k title
SWANSEA Harrier Andrea Whitcombe will tomorrow aim to become the first British woman to the tape as more than 4,000 runners take part in the ever-popular Admiral Swansea Bay 10K.
Whitcombe, 41, a former Olympic triathlete, finished fourth last year, and with the 2011 female winner Justina Heslop of Clapham Chasers unable to defend her crown because of injury, she will be aiming to take the £250 prize on offer.
Again, race director Nigel Jones has compiled an impressive list of elite runners for the event — the third race in the prestigious UK Run Britain Grand Prix Race series.
The Kenyans will be expected to dominate the men's field, as they have done so often over the past 20 years, but there are also competitors from Ethiopia, Eritrea and Sudan looking to make their mark.
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Favourite will be Bernard Rotich, who posted an impressive 28 minutes and 38 seconds in finishing third in the British 10k in London in July.
Rotich won the same race 12 months earlier.
A former track athlete, he once competed at 5000m and 10,000m against Kenyan great Kenenisa Bekele in the IAAF Golden Gala events.
Edwin Kipkorir, the winner for the past two years, is unlikely to return for an unprecedented hat-trick, but the likes of Luka Rotich Lobiwan, who will be running his first race outside of his native Kenya and his first race at sea level, compatriot Benson Oloisung and Dominic Ondoro are sure to be among the leading runners.
Peter Emase, the 18-year-old who has already won in Plymouth and Poole this year, has withdrawn from the race.
While Felix Limo's 2002 men's course record of 27:39 is unlikely to be under serious threat, Kenya's Jane Muia, with a personal best of 33.38, could go close to the women's record of 33:36.
Among the leading local runners on view will be Swansea Harriers Dewi Griffiths, Marc Hobbs and veteran record breaker Martin Rees, with the event once again hosting an Inter-Area match for men and women between Wales, North of England, Midlands and Combined Services.
There will also be an international comp- etition.
The main race starts outside the St Helen's rugby ground at 1pm with junior races beginning at 10.45am.