Great South Run

Travel chaos blighted most of our team of amazing Roadrunners at this world famous event on Sunday. Hovertravel cancelled all crossings on Sunday morning leaving many runners and their supporters queuing for lengthy periods on the Pier Head for the Fastcat. They eventually made it across, many of them missing their waved start times, having to watch scores of runners head toward them as they hurried along to the seafront at Southsea to get to the start. 

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, for those that had made it across the stretch of water, it was all smiles as the nerves were jangling in 3 start pens, waiting for the staggered starts. Bright sunshine now, as the earlier fog had cleared, it was warm already. No need for the “stay warm” bin bag today as Portsmouth gleamed in the October sunshine.

The course takes the runners firstly along the seafront to Clarence Pier 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 back their way out back into the city. 

Winston Churchill Avenue saw them get getting into a rhythm and enjoying the crowds as this  fantastically supported course. The crowds get deeper, jelly babies are everywhere, high fives coming thick and fast, bands playing from Samba to Bagpipes to Rock Choirs. The people of Portsmouth really make this the very special race that it is. Standing out in the sunshine for the entirety of 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 and back onto the seafront

It’s a long straight, seemingly endless battle to the finish, but at least they didn’t have the usual headwind to deal with today. 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 giving it their all, the roadrunners gave it one last push as they crossed the finishline.

Brilliant performances from each and every roadrunner and sprinkling of PBs as they ran their hearts out. A few special mentions…

Richard Nembhard making his debut for the club and giving himself a 2 minute PB. Trish Train for battling horrendous blood blisters on the soles of her feet to still finish in a course PB and 4th V50. Brian Canning, Harry Vernon, Charlotte Williams, Gemma Fletcher and Debbie Radestock for also grabbing themselves PBS. Guy Mattinson, Eloise Radestock and Robbie & Gary McFarlane for making their debuts over the distance. Last but not least Abbie Keyte for not only making her debut over the distance but smashing it to take 10th Junior female overall. 

Richard Nembhard- 1.05.56

Matt Fletcher – 1.07.03 

Trish Train – 1.08.23 

Michael Coultrup – 1.13.47

Garry Sharp – 1.13.50

Harry Vernon – 1.14.43

Brian Canning – 1.15.00

Guy Mattinson – 1.18.17

Simon Paul – 1.19.16

Dave Cass – 1.20.18

Glen Jones – 1.21.26

Charlotte Williams – 1.21.50

Abigail Keyte – 1.23.58

Sarah Holmes – 1.24.41

Elaine Harris – 1.30.11

Sarah Sharp – 1.30.11

Margaret Niland-Murphy – 1.32.22

Alison Butcher – 1.33.54

Gemma Fletcher – 1.34.03

Julie Salter – 1.34.58

Nick Carter – 1.34.58

Robbie MacFarlane – 1.37.29

Gary MacFarlane – 1.37.30

Ian Williams – 1.37.54

Laura Holme – 1.40.53

Bianca Johnston – 1.42.30

Steve Hunt – 1.44.59

Eloise Radestock – 1.55.52

Debbie Radestock – 1.56.10

Lyn Snow – 2.05.23