Third Manchester 10Km title for Gebrselassie (2010) (© Mark Shearman)
Ethiopian stars Haile Gebrselassie with his third victory and Worknesh Kidane took the honours with superb performances at the Bupa Great Manchester Run on Sunday.
However Jo Pavey a two-time winner expressed her frustration and disappointment after slumping to fifth position after failing to match the "Emperor's" notable feat at this Gold Label Road Race.
Pavey in only her second competition since giving birth to son Jacob last September, struggled before the halfway point of the 10 kilometres race falling away from the leading pack.
That left the 36-year-old running in a vaccuum as the Portugese pair of Jessica Augusto and Ines Monteiro plus Aniko Kalovics of Hungary, tried to match the Ethiopian challenge of Worknesh Kidane.
Despite the European trio's commitment to stay with the fairly fast pace on a chilly and windy Manchester morning, they had no response when Kidane, a winner of 21 world cross country medals, produced a huge surge going into the fifth kilometre.
Kidane in her first ever serious 10km race, inserted a swift kilometre of 2:59 to pull well clear to win in 32:31, 19 seconds ahead of Augusto with Monteiro third in 32:02, all three setting personal bests.
Then came Kalovics with a clocking of 32:20 followed by a very weary looking Pavey, who realistically after becoming a mother for the first time, was always unlikely to add to her 2007 and 2008 victories.
"I'm so frustrated and disappointed," said Pavey in a self critical mood. "I felt really awful and that was not a good run.
"I've focused on this race for months after Jacob was born and I've trained really hard hoping I would run well.
"But when the gun went off, I just didn't feel there was anything there and with the pace so quick, they got away leaving me to just keep plugging away."
Now Pavey will revert to track running aiming to get the 10,000m qualifying standard for the summer's European Championships at the IAAF World Challenge meeting in Ostrava on 27 May.
"My training has been really good, so I thought I might win," said 29-year-old Kidane whose husband Gebre Gebremariam won over the distance in New York's Central Park a day earlier.
Smooth sailing for Gebrselassie
Gebrselassie easily achieved his ambition of winning the Great Manchester Run for the third time following his inaugural 2005 success and second win a year ago.
Gebrselassie's prediction the weather might for the second successive year prevent him posting a fast time proved correct and in the circumstances his clocking of 28:02 commendable.
The 36-year-old Ethiopian, always at around the head of the field, finished seven seconds ahead Ayad Lamdassem a former Moroccan now representing Spain, who produced the best performance of his career.
They were followed home by a by Ukraine's eight times European cross country champion Sergiy Lebid (28:29) with Mark Warmby the first Brit, just a second ahead of triathlete Tim Don in 28:55.
"The only problem out there today was again in the wind," said Gebrselassie, who was using the race to assess his form before committing himself to an autumn marathon in either Berlin, Chicago, or New York.
"I though I might have gone much faster but the conditions weren't helping me. But this was an important win and I feel there is more to come in the future," added the World marathon record holder.
"Now I'll think about my next races after speaking with my manager. But to win a third title in Manchester has always been my ambition."
David Martin (PA Sport) for the IAAF
Leading Results (10Km):
1. H Gebrselassie (Ethiopia) 28 minutes 2 seconds
2. A Lamdassem (Spain) 28:09
3. S Lebid (Ukraine) 28:29
4. R Silva (Portugal) 28:50
5. G Weidlinger (Austria) 28:53
6. M Warmby (GB) 28:55
7. T Don (GB) 28:56
8. L Feireira (Portugal) 28:57
9. P Nicholls (GB) 29:07
10. A Ford (GB) 29:09
1. W Kidane (Ethiopia) 31:19
2. J Augusto (Portugal) 31:47
3. I Monteiro (Portugal) 32:02
4. A Kalovics (Hungary) 32:20
5. J Pavey (GB) 32:42
6. D Tulu (Ethiopia) 32:53
7. S Chepkemei (Kenya) 32:58
8. J Heslop (GB) 33:15
9. J Prokopcuka (Latvia) 33:30
10. S Samuels (GB) 33:30