Manchester city centre plays host to another bumper weekend of top international athletics as some of the world’s biggest Olympic and Paralympics stars turn out in force for the CityGames and Great Run, live on BBC Sport.
Now in its sixth year, the Great CityGames Manchester is once again set to bring world class athletics to the city’s streets, while the Great Manchester Run, Europe’s biggest 10km running event, sees thousands of runners take to the streets to raise money for charity.
The CityGames will take place at Deansgate on Saturday (May 17) in the heart of the city and at the purpose built athletics arena in Albert Square with a crowd of 20,000 people expected to gather to see some of the world’s greatest athletes compete, including Olympic, World Championship and European Championship medallists.
Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake heads a line-up of Olympic and Paralympic athletes racing on a 200m track in the city centre – Blake will attempt to break the 150m world best set by Usain Bolt in the same event in 2009.
Former Olympic champion and 2013 World Championship gold medalist Christine Ohuruogu and surprising 2014 World Indoor 60m champion Richard Kilty will also be in action for Great Britain at the event.
Nearby, in the historic Albert Square, pole vault and long jump feature with London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Greg Rutherford taking on former world and Olympic champion Irving Saladino, while Holly Beasdale competes with reigning Olympic champion Jenn Suhr.
Then on Sunday (May 18), the city streets will be packed once again as they stage the 12th edition of the Great Manchester Run.
First held in May 2003, the event was created as a legacy event following the 2002 Commonwealth Games and has grown to become Europe’s biggest 10km running event, with more than a quarter of a million enthusiastic runners having taken to the streets in its decade-long history to accomplish their individual goals.
Tens of thousands of spectators will witness 5,000 and 10,000m world record-holder Kenenisa Bekele compete against the marathon world record-holder and recent London Marathon victor Wilson Kipsang.
In the women’s race, defending champion Tirunesh Dibaba will face Great Birmingham Run winner Gemma Steel, and former Great Manchester Run winner Helen Clitheroe.
Of the many celebrities taking part alongside close to 40,000 entrants will be former footballers Phil Neville and Robbie Savage, soap stars Julie Hesmondhalgh and Denise Welch, and former World Champion snooker player Shaun Murphy.
BBC Sport has live coverage of both the Great Manchester CityGames and Great Manchester Run over the weekend of May 17-18.
Jonathan Edwards will present coverage of both events with the CityGames on Saturday being shown live on BBC One from 1.15pm (on BBC Two for viewers in Scotland), while the 10km Run on Sunday morning is live on BBC Two at 10.00am.
Expert analysis on the CityGames comes from Colin Jackson and Denise Lewis, with commentary provided by Steve Cram and Andrew Cotter, while Phil Jones reports from trackside.
On Sunday for the Great Manchester Run, Paula Radcliffe joins Cram and Cotter in the commentary box to provide expert analysis on the men’s and women’s races, while Denise Lewis and Phil Jones provide reports and interviews along the course.
There are close to 40,000 runners, including many celebrities, racing for charity and the BBC team interviews many of those famous faces, as well highlights some of the emotional human interest stories which the race also generates.
There is more live international athletics on Sunday as the second Diamond League meeting of the year takes place in Shanghai, live on BBC Red Button at 1.00pm.
Saturday 17th May
Great Manchester CityGames
LIVE: 1.15pm-2.50pm BBC One / BBC Two Scotland
Sunday 18th May
Great Manchester Run
LIVE: 10.00am-12.30pm BBC Two
Highlights: 6.00pm-7.00pm BBC Two