Athletics: Kenyans lead Great North field

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The Independent Online
The Kenyans will be pursued by 30,000 athletes through the streets of Newcastle, Gateshead and South Shields in today's Great North Run, writes Norman Fox. Last year the Kenyans were dominant. There is no reason to believe things will change today. The defending champion, Kenya's Moses Tanui, returns to try for the title again. Tanui says that, weather permitting, he wants to get close to his own world best mark of 59min 47sec, achieved in Milan last year. Britain's interest is in Eamonn Martin, Paul Evans and the Commonwealth Games bronze medal winner, Mark Hudspith, but none is likely to challenge the Kenyans. There is not much hope of a British success in the women's race since the event clashes with next weekend's world half-marathon championship in Oslo. Liz McColgan, who won the women's Great North Run two years ago, has almost recovered from her knee injury but will wait a few more weeks before making a decision about her plans. Thames Valley Harriers won the Guardian Men's Gold Cup at Bedford for the first time in their history. Essex Ladies retained the Guardian Women's Jubilee Cup.