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The Great West Run: look-ahead with star athlete Jo Pavey

As thousands of people are lacing their trainers and filling their water bottles ready for the Great West Run in Exeter, we've been catching up with the woman who's going to start them all off on Sunday: Devon's superstar runner, Jo Pavey

The West Hill runner gained international fame after winning the European Championships in Zurich last year. Her heart is set on a 5th Olympic appearance, but this weekend really won't be about the winning, but the taking part.

She'll officially get the race underway at 9am Sunday, it's raising money for many charities including the race charity Children's Hospice South West.

Click to hear why their work is so important:

And for the 4000 people set to take part, Jo says there's a real treat in store:

It's just such a fantastic course taking in the sights of the city and the pretty country lanes like Stoke Woods and St Andrews Lane.

I'm just excited about going along it's such an honour and I'm really looking forward to it.

The race is now in its 30th year


Jo Pavey set to win bronze medal eight years after race

Jo Pavey missed out on a medal with a fourth-place finish in Osaka. Credit: Gareth Copley/PA Wire

Devon runner Jo Pavey is likely to get a bronze medal for a race from 8 years ago - because the woman who won silver is facing doping charges.

Elvan Abeylegesse is among dozens of athletes whose urine samples from earlier championships have been re-analysed and tested positive for a banned substance.

An emotional Pavey tweeted to confirm the rumour, after saying earlier in the week that it would be "bittersweet" to get the medal from the 2007 World Championships in Osaka.

Devon Olympian Jo Pavey honoured at Exeter University

Jo Pavey celebrating winning the Women's 10000m Final at the European Championships 2014. Credit: Adam Davy / PA

Devon athlete Jo Pavey, who was made an MBE in the Queen's birthday honours, is to be given an honorary doctorate by Exeter University this morning.

The 41-year-old from West Hill, has competed in four Olympics, and last year won bronze at the Commonwealth Games and gold at the European Championships.

Devon's Jo Pavey tops West Country's honours list

Jo Pavey celebrating winning the Women's 10000m Final at the European Championships 2014 Credit: Adam Davy/PA

Devon runner Jo Pavey has been awarded an MBE for services to athletics.

The 41 year old mum-of-two won the 10,000m gold medal at the European Championships last year, and has competed in the Olympics four times.

1,163 people were honoured this year - 70% of those were recognised for their community work. Our reporter John Andrews went to meet some of the West Country's local heroes.

Devon's Jo Pavey recognised at sports awards

Jo Pavey Credit: PA

Devon's Jo Pavey cam third in the Sportswoman of the Year category at a ceremony in London last night.

The runner, who lives in West Hill near Exeter, became the oldest female European champion in history when she won 10,000m gold in Zurich earlier this year when she was almost 41. She was honoured at the Sunday Times and Sky awards.

Jo will be back in Exeter tonight to switch on the City's Christmas lights.


Disappointment for Jo Pavey at Euro Championships

Jo Pavey finished 7th in the Women's 5000m Final. Credit: Adam Davy / PA Wire

There has been disappointment for Devon's Jo Pavey in the women's 5,000 metres final at the European Championships.

The 40 year-old was unable to add to her gold medal in the 10,000 metres, finishing a disappointing 7th.

The race was won by Sweden's Meraf Bahta.

  1. National

Jo Pavey: No plans to retire after European gold

Jo Pavey has told ITV News she has no plans to retire just yet after becoming the oldest ever female European athletics champion at the age of 40.

Jo Pavey plans to carry on competing after her victory. Credit: PA Wire

The British mother-of-two won gold in the women's 10,000 metres at the European championships in Zurich on Tuesday night, just 10 days after she claimed bronze at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

But Pavey, who is due to compete again in the 5,000 metres, told ITV News' Sasha Williams she intends to "keep going".

"I want to keep going. At the start of the year I thought how long much longer can I go on, but I've been pleasantly surprised that I've still been able to be competitive so I've definitely got no thoughts of retiring yet."

  1. West Country (E)

Pavey - "I thought it was the wrong event at one point"

Forty-year-old Jo Pavey says she thought the 10,000 metres might be the wrong event for here, finding it quite a long way. But the mother of two proved herself wrong to become the oldest ever female European champion, after a stunning victory for Great Britain.

It comes just 10 days after the four-time Olympian claimed won bronze in the 5,000m at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

The athlete's winning performance was one better than her last appearance at the 2012 European Championships when she took a silver medal from Helsinki.

I can't believe it. I am just thrilled.

I was finding it quite a long way, I thought it was the wrong event at one point.

It was really emotional to have my daughter Emily watch me for the first time, we thought she might be scared, but decided to gamble it.

To try for so many years and to finally do it at the age of 40 is funny really. I should have learned how it do it by now.

– Jo Pavey
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