Great British sportswomen Jo Pavey, the 2014 European 10,000metre champion, and Gemma Steel, the 2014 European cross-country champion, are amidst the high-profile participants in this year’s Great South Run.
Thousands of runners of all ages are gearing up for a weekend of sport in Portsmouth, as the iconic racing event returns for its 25th year in the city.
Other celebrity athletes taking on the route from Clarence Esplanade, through Old Portsmouth and Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, and past renowned landmarks such as HMS Victory, HMS Warrior, and the Mary Rose Museum include 2015 World 10,000metre champion Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya and Moses Kipsiro from Uganda.
The four sporting stars met the press at a pre-event photo call in the newly-renovated Boathouse 4 at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard on the morning of Friday 23rd October 2015.
Moses told Team Locals: “It’s my first time here, and this is the first time I’ll be doing the Great South Run. It’s a really beautiful city and I love the history of it — it’s not like anywhere else I’ve seen. The way the route passes through a place like [the dockyard] is amazing.”
This Great South Run will mark the end of Jo Pavey’s racing year, she told Team Locals: “It’s a great route to finish 2015 on, and it’s great to be back. I’m looking forward to it, and to spending more time with my family after.”
Pavey will be bidding to secure her place at her fifth successive Olympic Games next year in 2016.
One of her most recent running endeavours was being the fourth woman to finish the Great Scottish Run 2015 half-marathon in one hour, nine minutes, and 58 seconds.
She has previously won the Great South Run in 2006 and 2012.
Also at the Great South Run this year is Double Olympic Champion sailor Iain Percy OBE, who will be the honorary starter before joining participants in running the famously fast and flat course himself.
He will be running in aid of the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation, a charity set up in memory of his friend and sailing partner Andrew “Bart” Simpson, who tragically lost his life in an America’s Cup training accident in May 2013.
Organisers have introduced a women-only wave, staged in partnership with This Girl Can. Women inspired by the national campaign will receive their own warm-up, a sweat band, a temporary tattoo, and a special This Girl Can running number.
Bournemouth-born Sam Mollaghan, who starred in the iconic advertising campaign, will be honorary starter for the This Girl Can wave, before running the course herself.