Sonia O'Sullivan will take the first step in winding down a glittering
international career at the Great Bupa Ireland Run in Dublin on Sunday.
O'Sullivan claimed an Olympic 5000m silver medal in Sydney
The Olympic 5000 metres silver medallist is contesting her last race on Irish roads at the 10K event.
O'Sullivan's rivals in Dublin will include Ethiopian great Derartu Tulu.
Craig Mottram will be chasing a fifth successive win in the men's race and his rivals will include Kenyan Abraham Chebii and home runner Mark Carroll.
However, O'Sullivan will be the big attraction as she competes for the last time on Ireland's roads.
The Republic of Ireland's greatest sportswoman is planning to run another marathon in the autumn but she knows that the point is looming when she will no longer be competitive.
O'Sullivan said: "I now find sessions very hard and believe that the end is near at world class level.
"But until then, I plan getting the best out of myself.
I'd definitely like to run a marathon this year
"I could say it might be December - or then it might be this time next year. I just don't know.
"For the moment I'm just planning to compete, but not at such a high level."
O'Sullivan, 5,000m world champion in 1995, has ruled out competing at next year's Olympic Games in
She said: "I'd definitely like to run a marathon this year. I've run out of pace for everything else."
Tulu is competing for the first time since having a baby last autumn, which could open the door for Hatti Dean to upset both her more experienced opponents.
The British international finished a creditable 14th at last month's World Cross
Country Championships and has a perfect opportunity to enhance her reputation.
Chebii could push Mottram in the men's race after producing a solid 28 minutes, 32
seconds for 10K on the roads in Switzerland recently.
Spain's 2002 European 10,000m gold-medallist Chema Martinez and Sergiy Lebid, five times crowned the
European cross country champion will also be in action.