Haile Gebrselassie will face strong competition in his pursuit of five titles at the Bupa Great Manchester Run with confirmation that current world record holder Patrick Makau will be competing in the event on May 20.
Makau, who surpassed Gebrselassie's record in last year's BMW Berlin Marathon with a time of 2:03:38, will be desperate for a strong performance after recently being overlooked for the Kenyan Olympic marathon team.
Despite being pre-selected, Makau lost out to Wilson Kipsang, Abel Kirui and Moses Mosop after failing to finish last month's Virgin London Marathon. On his performance in London, Makau revealed: "I went to London knowing I was already in the team for the Olympics. I therefore was not going to push myself to finish the marathon."
He continued: "Olympics come only once in four years. Ethiopians have been training for it since January. That is a whole seven months. My recovery period is four months, and that is why I wasn't going to run hard in London last month. I sacrificed a lot of races since last year for the sake of Olympics, but all that is now down the drain."
Confirmation of Makau's duel with Gebrselassie will be an added boost to the Bupa Great Manchester Run as it prepares to celebrate its tenth staging. First held in May 2003 when around 10,000 competitors took part, the event has experienced a massive upsurge in popularity and is expecting 40,000 runners this year.