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Champion in for the long haul

READY TO BE TESTED: Berhane Adere

BERHANE ADERE, the defending champion, will be fully tested when bidding to retain her women's title and score a third win at the Bupa Great North Run on Sunday.

The 38-year-old Ethiopian heads a strong elite field which includes Portugal's Jessica Augusto, who preceded her as title holder, plus the Kenyan pair of Irene Jerotich and Irene Mogake, last year's Commonwealth Games Marathon gold and silver medallists.

The pair will be returning to action after injuries prevented them competing in the recent IAAF World Championships and both of them believe they are in shape for good performances in preparation for marathon outings in the next couple of months.

"Adere's been a little inconsistent in her performances this year but that's nothing new from her," said Peter Riley, the event's elite athletes coordinator. "She always seems to lift herself when competing at the Bupa Great North Run."

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