Jo Pavey has confirmed she will make a return to the road racing circuit and compete at the Great Manchester Run on 10 May. The European champion, who also took bronze at the Commonwealth Games last summer, will be aiming for a hat-trick of victories at the event having tasted success in 2007 and 2008.
The latest move from Pavey is another turn in what has been a remarkable couple of years for the runner. Last August, the 41-year-old ran 32:22:39 to take gold at the European Championships in Zurich, a thrilling performance that saw her nominated in the BBC’s Sport Personality of the Year. Somewhat remarkably, Pavey set both her time in Zurich and Glasgow less than a year after giving birth to her second child.
While Manchester has remained high on her list accomplishments, Pavey admitted she hadn’t thought she would ever compete at the 10k event, with 2015 penciled in as her retirement year.
Reflecting on her participation, Pavey commented: “I am really excited about racing the Morrisons Great Manchester Run, not least because I thought 2015 was going to be the year that I retired. To be thinking about competing in events like the Great Manchester Run is such a massive bonus for me, when I thought I’d be hanging up my racing shoes. It’s a great race and a great opportunity for me.”
She added: “I’m really excited about getting out and racing on the roads again. It was something I couldn’t do last year because of the two major championships and having to qualify for them. Getting back on the roads is a real motivating factor for me and racing in Manchester is really exciting. It’s a great course – fast and flat – and it’s always a very competitive race.”
In addition to her pursuit of a hat-trick of victories, Pavey stands a strong chance of breaking the 30-year-old British over-40 record, currently held by Priscilla Welsh with a time of 32:25.