Ready to see off her rivals

Commonwealth games bronze medalist Liz Yelling will lead the domestic challenge in the BUPA Great Women's Run in Sunderland tomorrow.

Commonwealth games bronze medalist Liz Yelling will lead the domestic challenge in the BUPA Great Women's Run in Sunderland tomorrow.

Yelling, who came third in the Marathon event in Melbourne in 2006, is expected to compete with Kenya's Rose Cheruiyot, who won the Amsterdam Marathon earlier this year.

But there will also be competition from Tracey Morris, who was Britain's top finisher in the Marathon at the Athens Olympics in 2004, while another Kenyan, Catherine Mutwa, will be hoping to make up for the disappointment of finishing sixth in last year's inaugural race after she fell.

More than 2,500 runners will take on Sunderland's unique coastal 10km course, with the route requiring runners to test themselves on a 300m stretch of beach, as well as out to sea, when they run along Roker Pier.

The BUPA Great Women's Run, in association with Cancer Research UK, follows the same formula as any other Great Run event with the elite women leading the field and thousands of club, fun and charity runners following in the masses behind.

Cheruiyot, Yelling, Blaydon Race ladies' winner Mutwa, and Morris are among a host of leading competitors.

Meanwhile, Yelling has pulled out of the Norwich Union GB marathon squad for the IAAF World Championships in Osaka this summer. The 32-year-old instead plans to try to break her personal best of two hours 30 minutes and 44 seconds achieved at last April's Flora London Marathon.

Yelling believes it is important she succeeds in accomplishing that ambition in the build-up to next year's Beijing Olympics.

Northumberland host the annual Inter Counties Schools Track and Field match against Cleveland, Cumbria and Durham at Gateshead International Stadium, today.

After this meeting, the county teams will be finalised, for what will be a partly-televised English Schools Championships in Birmingham on July 13-14.

Newton Aycliffe AC promote their annual 10km Road Race tomorrow (10am start). Registration is at Greenfield Community College and entries will be accepted on the day for £9 (club) and £11 (unattached).

The Northern Athletics Championships for Senior and Under-20 competitors take place this weekend at Wavertree Stadium, Liverpool.

LUKE EDWARDS

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