By Duncan Mackay

Paula_Radcliffe_in_2005_London_MarathonApril 28 - Britain's Paula Radcliffe will get an opportunity to race on many of the roads that will make up next year's Olympic marathon course when she takes part in the Bupa London 10,000 road race on May 30.

Radcliffe has chosen the annual race, organised by the London Marathon, for her second competitive outing since giving birth to her second child, Raphael, in September last year.

The 37-year-old marathon world record holder, who has not raced for 18 months, lines up alongside Mo Farah for an event that incorporates the first UK national 10 kilometres Road Championships, part of the runbritain Grand Prix series.

Radcliffe remains the 10km world record holder thanks to her time of 30min 21sec from San Juan, Puerto Rico, in February 2003, a performance which came just two months before she smashed the world marathon record in London, clocking 2 hours 15min 25sec.

"I can't wait to be running in London again," said Radcliffe, who will be targetting Mary Keitany's London 10,000 course record of 31:06.

"Racing in London holds special memories for me for obvious reasons.

"The Bupa London 10,000 is a great opportunity to test myself against some good opposition and be competitive again over a shorter distance."

The race starts on Birdcage Walk and follows an anti-clockwise route around the City of Westminster and the City of London via Parliament Square, Embankment, Blackfriars Bridge, Queen Victoria Street, Cannon Street, Great Tower Street, Crutched Friars, Fenchurch Street, Leadenhall Market, Cornhill, Queen Victoria Street, Puddle Dock, Embankment, Horseguards Avenue, Whitehall and via Trafalgar Square to the Finish in The Mall.

Runners pass many of London's famous sights, including Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, The London Eye, Cleopatra's Needle, Tate Gallery, Millennium Bridge, The Monument, Lloyds of London, Leadenhall Market, Bank of England, Mansion House, St. Paul's Cathedral, Horseguards, Nelson's Column and Admiralty Arch.

Buckingham Palace acts as the backdrop to the start and finish.

Much of the same route will make up the course for next year's Olympic marathons, although it is not an exact carbon copy.

"It is not true to say that the 10k run is an exact replication of our Olympic marathon route," a London 2012 spokeswoman told insidethegames.

"10k runners will not run the full Olympic route, each of our loops is longer than the entire 10K race - our loops are 12.8 km.

"Our route also heads further into the city, towards Guildhall.

"Although runners will run elements of the Olympic course, as they will have done for the last three years, it is not  a 'dress rehearsal' for the Olympic Marathon route.

"No changes have been made to the 10k route because of our requirements."

London 2012 are nevertheless using the event as part of their test events programme and plan to try out some of the technology they will be using for the Olympic marathons in a special event featuring a small select group of club runners at 6am before the Bupa race featuring 10,000 runners starts at 11am.

The main event will see Farah make his first appearance on home soil since February when he broke the European indoor 5,000 metres record in Birmingham's National Indoor Arena.

Since then, the country's number one men's distance runner retained his European indoor 3,000m title in Paris and won the New York City Half Marathon in another British record time of 60:23.

Now based in the United States, where he is coached by triple New York Marathon winner Alberto Salazar, Farah aims to lower the national and course record of 27:44 he set 12 months ago when he defeated the men's world 10km record holder Micah Kogo.

"I've had some great success in this event in the last two years," he said.

"I'm aiming for more of the same this time.

"It's been a great year for me so far and another good run at the Bupa London 10,000 could be the springboard to a successful summer on the track with the World Championships in Daegu my main target."

London Marathon race director David Bedford was pleased that Radcliffe has chosen to follow her appearance in the BUPA Great Manchester Run over 10km event on May 15 by making her first appearance in the capital since she won the 2005 London Marathon.

That race, which she won in 2:17:42, a world's best time in a women's only marathon, is best remembered for a notorious moment towards the end when Radcliffe, hindered by a stomach problem, stopped and defecated on the side of the road in view of the crowd and television cameras which broadcast the incident live.

"It's great to have Britain's number one male and female distance runners with us for the Bupa London 10,000," Bedford said.

"We are delighted to welcome Paula back to London after such a long absence and very much hope this race will be her first step on the road to Olympic success.

"It's also good to see Mo back for a third year.

"Mo has performed superbly here in the last two years and is in even better form this time. We expect another record from him.

"For us, this year's race will be especially important as we host the UK's first national 10km Championships while for 10,000 others it will be a chance to run on the very streets where the best distance runners in the world will be racing for Olympic medals in little over a year's time."

Alongside elite runners will be teams of up to six runners from UK clubs competing for places in the UK 10km Championship race, with the cumulative times of the first three finishers counting towards the team prize.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

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