The first major sporting event to return to Glasgow since the Commonwealth Games takes place this Sunday as BBC Sport screens live coverage of the 2014 Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run.
Scotland’s largest mass-participation sports event starts in the heart of Glasgow at George Square, where close to 25,000 runners pass through some of the city’s most famous attractions in both half-marathon and 10k races, before reaching the finish at Glasgow Green, the city’s oldest park on the banks of the Clyde.
2014 has been a momentous year for sport in Scotland with the Great Scottish Run coming just two months after a hugely successful Commonwealth Games were staged in Glasgow and also follows last weekend’s sensational Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.
Last year’s run was another record breaking year for the event with more than 30,000 participants of all ages lining up to enjoy the weekend and achieve their goals.
Runners can choose between a 10k and half marathon challenge that will take them through the heart of the city, passing many of the iconic venues that played a key role in this summer’s Commonwealth Games, providing additional inspiration for participants on the day.
The main focus on Sunday morning will be on the half-marathon races, which feature an intriguing mix of internationally acclaimed athletics stars and up-and-coming athletes in both the men’s and women’s elite races.
Legendary distance runner Haile Gebrselassie returns for a second year as he looks to improve on his course record time set on his debut in 2013.
Regarded by many as the greatest distance runner of all-time, the 41-year-old Ethiopian won last year’s race in 61 minutes 9 seconds, the fastest time ever recorded in Scotland for the 13.1 mile half marathon distance and also a world age-group record.
The 5ft 4in East African phenomenon known as the ‘Little Emperor’ has broken an incredible 27 world records, at distances ranging from two miles to the 26.2 miles of the full marathon during the course of a trailblazing career in which he has also won two Olympic titles and four World Championship gold medals at 10,000m.
Joining Haile in the men’s race are all three medallists from the Commonwealth Games marathon, including gold medallist Michael Shelley of Australia, as well as Kenya’s Stephen Kwelio Chemlany and Uganda’s Abraham Kiplimo.
The women’s field offers strong domestic interest, led by Scotland’s own Susan Partridge who finished sixth in the Commonwealth Games marathon, will be hoping to upset the odds and provide a home victory.
European 10,000 metres champion Jo Pavey was due to compete in Glasgow but withdrew in the week building up to the event after suffering from heel pains.
Pavey, who made history at the European Championships in Zurich in August when she became the oldest female to ever win a gold medal, was due to be the race’s headline competitor but revealed she has had the niggling injury for the last few days.
Despite Pavey’s absence there will still be a top-class women’s field, too, with Ethiopia’s Tiki Gelana, the Olympic marathon champion from London 2012, and Edna Kiplagat of Kenya the pre-race favourites.
Alongside the elite races, attention will rightly focus on the thousands of mass runners with a record number taking to the start line this year.
BBC Sport will cover all the stories from the elite and charity races around the course with its extensive coverage of the 2014 Great Scottish Run from Glasgow.
Dougie Vipond presents BBC Sport Scotland’s live coverage on Sunday, October 5, starting at 10.30am on BBC Two across the UK, with commentary led by Andrew Cotter, Brendan Foster and the former world marathon and half-marathon champion Paula Radcliffe.
Throughout BBC Two’s live programme, Vipond will be joined by some of the stars of Glasgow 2014 to celebrate their achievements during the course of the race.
The BBC’s coverage will hear some of the heart-warming fundraising stories during its coverage, as well as bringing live updates from out on the course.
David Currie will be based at the start and finish line, while Rhona McLeod reports from Pollok Park, one of the most scenic parts of the course.
Visit the official Great Scottish Run website for more information about the event.
Sunday 5th October
Great Scottish Run 2014
LIVE: 10.30am-1.30pm BBC Two