Great South Run

Storm Brian wasn’t enough to defeat our team of amazing Roadrunners at this world famous event on Sunday. The gusty 70mph winds and high water may have put paid to Saturdays junior and 5k events, but our fearless team in the white blue and red vests proved too big of a match for poor Brian as they triumphed across the line over the water in Portsmouth.

Originally held in Southampton in its inaugural year, this IAAF Gold Standard event has become one of the biggest 10 mile road races on the planet. Over 20 000 runners take on this fast and flat course every year. From Mo Farah and Paula Radcliffe, elite runners, club runners, charity fundraisers to many beginners “first race” debutants, this race holds a special place in the hearts and minds of many people on the South Coast.

Starting and finishing on Clarence Esplanade in Southsea, it was all smiles as the nerves were jangling in 3 start pens, waiting for the staggered starts. Bright sunshine, a clear blue sky but chilly air as they stood patiently shivering in their vests.

The course takes the runners into a bracing headwind along the seafront, before turning inland slightly toward Gunwharf Quays.

Into the historic dockyard they pass Nelson’s HMS Victory and Henry IIIV Mary Rose… Heroes to inspire every runners journey. From the dockyard the runners emerge and make their way out back into the city.

Winston Churchill Avenue saw them get getting into a rhythm and enjoying the crowds on this fantastically supported course. The crowds get deeper, jelly babies are everywhere, high fives coming thick and fast, the support overwhelming. The people of Portsmouth making this the very special race that it is. Standing out in the cold, all the way around the course, to cheer on the 20 000 runners all on their own personal journeys.

Past the famous Queens Hotel and onward toward the common, where the runners get a glimpse of the front runners as they pass South Parade Pier in their last half mile of the race. However for the masses they have not long past the 10k marker and they must continue out toward Eastney and the almost notorious atmosphere along Henderson Road with the residents standing in their gardens and music pumping giving the runners that last little boost before they make the turn at 8 miles into the wind.

The storm had abated but was by no means past, and without the protection of the city’s buildings the runners are now exposed, feeling the full force of he brutal headwind, just as their legs start to tire and their will starts to wobble. It’s a long straight, seemingly endless battle to the finish. Passing the Yomper Statue and then the pier as they finally enter the little zig zag in the road which signifies 400m to go. Mustering all they had left after 2 miles into the wind, the roadrunners gave it one last push as they crossed the finishline.

Brilliant performances from each and every roadrunner and lots of PBs as they ran their hearts out. A few special mentions…
Congratulations to Michael Douglas for dipping under the hour, Harry Rann, Simon Randall and Margaret Niland-Murphy for bossing it in their age categories and Gemma Fletcher for running her 1st ever race.

Michael Douglas – 59.53 PB -92nd overall
Harry Rann – 1.01.37 PB -126th overall -4th U19
Simon Randall – 1.03.30 -209th overall – 13th V40
Matt Fletcher – 1.07.44
Mark Turtle – 1.11.13
Mike Kimber – 1.11.53 PB
Garry Sharp – 1.12.35
Holly Newton – 1.12.41 PB
Kev Rann – 1.15.51
George Butler – 1.16.09 PB
Brian Canning – 1.16.30
Margaret Niland-Murphy – 1.17.02 -9th V50
Sarah Holmes – 1.17.42 PB
Michael Coultrup – 1.17.42
Harry Vernon – 1.18.12 PB
Glen Jones – 1.18.26 PB
Ashleigh Douglas – 1.20.16
Michael Green – 1.20.52
Nick Scott-Denness – 1.21.09
Keith Ruth – 1.21.47
Ian Dyer – 1.22.23
Kelly Forster – 1.24.22 PB
Zoe Sherwin – 1.24.32
Claire Harvey – 1.26.38 PB
Sara Truckel – 1.27.29
Steve Hickman – 1.28.51
Sarah Sharp – 1.29.12
Julie Rasmussen – 1.32.22
Julie Salter – 1.32.37
Alison Butcher – 1.32.38 PB
Paul Butcher – 1.32.38
Kim Hulacka – 1.32.40 PB
Tarnia Eldridge – 1.32.44
Steve Hunt – 1.33.41 PB
Gemma Fletcher – 1.33.59
Sue Meredith – 1.34.42 PB
Sue Hunter – 1.36.06
Misha Hetherington – 1.36.22
Jess Hill – 1.37.50
Belinda Rockall – 1.38.25 PB
Dale Rockall- 1.38.25
Callie Hatcher – 1.40.31 PB
Tracy Pole – 1.42.53 PB
Adrian Burroughs – 1.42.54 PB
Nick Stilwell – 1.43.34
Ian Williams – 1.45.06 PB
Charlotte Williams – 1.45.06
Sharon Cass – 1.54.13
Jo Randall – 1.57.14 PB
Lyn Snow – 2.17.12