Duracell has confirmed that Katharine Merry will be the latest Olympian to put their endurance and pacing to the test when she becomes a Duracell bunny pacer at the 2017 Simplyhealth Great North Run in September. 

Merry is the third former athlete to take on the Duracell Bunny Challenge, following previous Olympic medallists, Kelly Sotherton and Jason Gardener, who paced the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham 10K and Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run respectively.

Katharine will don the famous Duracell Running Bunny ears as she sets the pace during this year’s Simplyhealth Great North Run. Katharine will be tasked with helping and encouraging runners to go for longer and achieve their running goals. Renowned as a sprinter having won a bronze medal in the 400m at Sydney, this will be the furthest Katharine has ever run before.

As well as going for longer, Katharine will be tasked with trying to out-do her fellow Olympians by trying to get as close to her allocated pacing time of 2 hours 30 minutes as possible. Kelly Sotherton is currently in the lead being just 51 seconds out.

The Duracell Bunny pacers have been a cornerstone of series sponsor Duracell’s campaign since partnering with the Great Run Series last year, when more than 100 individuals took on the role. 

Katharine Merry said: “It’s a great honour to be pacing during this year’s Great North Run and taking on the ‘Duracell Bunny Challenge’ to help people go for longer. I’ve loved running again and although it’s much longer than I’ve ever run before, I’m so excited to be doing it! I’ll be helping to pace alongside some very experienced Duracell Bunnies who I hope to get some advice from on the day – I’ve already heard from Kelly and Jason who have given me some tips.”

Christina Turner, Duracell UK Associate Marketing Director said: “We’re thrilled that Katharine’s joined the Duracell team for the Great North Run. She’s a stalwart of the athletics industry and it’s great to be able to follow her training journey through her vlogs and on social media as she strives to go for longer.”

Brendan Foster, founder of the Great North Run said: “It’s brilliant to have Katharine joining the thousands of runners taking part in the world’s biggest half marathon. She is truly one of the legends of British Athletics and I can’t wait to see her take on a new challenge as a Duracell pacer helping people achieve their best.”