Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

20,000 take part in Portsmouth's Great South Run

20,000 take part in this year's event Photo: The Great Run Company

More than 20,000 runners took part in today's Simplyhealth Great South Run.

Now in it's 29th year, Chris Thompson and Ellish McColgan took the 2018 titles.

Chris Thompson made it three wins in a row, crossing the finish line in 46:56 - a first for the event.

His Aldershot Farnham & District AC teammate Andy Vernon came second in a time of 47:29 and Petros Surafel came third in 48:05.

Eilish McColgan won the women’s field in 54:43, her debut over the 10-mile distance. The daughter of two-time winner and Scottish running legend Liz, followed in her mother’s footsteps, who last took the Great South Run crown in 1997.

Steph Twell followed her across the line in second in a time of 55:16 and Gemma Steel was third in a time of 56:56.

The route of the 10 mile race, which gives participants a scenic tour of Portsmouth, with a fast and flat course - has been graced over the decades by world-class athletes such as Sir Mo Farah, Liz McColgan, Paula Radcliffe, and Sonia O’Sullivan.

The event, staged in the city since 1991, offers a unique opportunity to run through Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard, passing iconic landmarks such as HMS Victory, HMS Warrior and the Mary Rose Museum.

The 17-year-old sister of murdered soldier Lee Rigby was among those taking part. Courtney took part in the event with a team of supporters to raise money for the Lee Rigby Foundation, which has been set up by her family to support victims of British terror attacks.

Boxer Kate Farley also walked the final mile of the event on the seafront with the help of a walking frame, despite suffering from cerebral palsy.

She completed the event to support the Superpeople charity she co-founded to show how disabled and non-disabled people can work together to create social change.

The weekend of sport started yesterday with the new Canine Run. In what was a first for organisers, 100 dogs took part in a 2.5k run with their owners, starting and finishing on Clarence Esplanade.

This was followed by the Simplyhealth Great South 5k where the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor Lee Mason, joined up to 1,000 runners to take on the shorter route as part of his new Small Changes, Big Difference Campaign.

The 5k was followed by the Simplyhealth Junior and Mini Great South Run, with thousands of young runners filling the Southsea sea front with a seaside-themed fancy dress competition.

Jayne Fearn, Simplyhealth spokesperson, said: “The glorious sunshine made for great conditions for a fantastic weekend of events in Portsmouth, from the first ever Simplyhealth Canine Run to the Simplyhealth Great South Run on Sunday.

“Supporting runners every step of the way, thousands enjoyed our post-run stretch zone and free massage. We’re already looking forward to next year.”

A weekend of running in Portsmouth Credit: The Great Run Company

“The glorious sunshine made for great conditions for a fantastic weekend of events in Portsmouth, from the first ever Simplyhealth Canine Run to the Simplyhealth Great South Run on Sunday.

“Supporting runners every step of the way, thousands enjoyed our post-run stretch zone and free massage. We’re already looking forward to next year.”

– Jayne Fearn, spokesperson Simplyhealth
Perfect conditions for the Great South Run Credit: The Great Run Company

More on this story