Entries for the Simplyhealth Great South Run are open. Enter at: Greatrun.org/South

Runners and charity fundraisers gathered in Southsea Castle today (10 August) with just over two months to go until the Simplyhealth Great South Run.

The participants were in attendance to share their stories about their reasons for running ahead of their 10-mile challenge.

The world's leading 10-mile running event returns to Portsmouth on the weekend of 21-22 October, with up to 25,000 people of all ages and abilities taking part across four running events.

The fast and flat course starts near to Southsea Castle on Clarence Esplanade, before taking in iconic landmarks around the city, including Spinnaker Tower and running through Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, home to HMS Victory.

Among the runners were:

William Martin from Portsmouth: William is running for an ME charity and has created a team called TEAM100 - where 100 runners are raising £100 each and this will be donated towards Invest In ME. William has brought along some supporters from TEAM100 including a friend who lives with the condition.

Rebecca Norum from Portsmouth: Rebecca was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2011, 12 weeks after her baby boy was born. She has dedicated her time to raising awareness about cancer and is running the 10-mile event to raise funds for her chosen cancer charity. This will be her longest ever run.

Mark and Katherine Grimes from the Isle of Wight: Fire Fighter Mark was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2015. He has created his own local charity The Wight Brainy Bunch, to fund research into brain tumours. He has raised £10,000 so far and will be taking on the event with his wife Katherine.

Katy Warren from Brighton: 30-year-old Katy was diagnosed with a serious heart condition called neurocardiogenic syndrome and requires a pacemaker for the rest of her life. She has been supported by The British Heart Foundation she wants to be able to make a difference to others going through similar problems.

Sergeant Stepper's Homeless Hearts Club from Surrey: Ian Carley and Cyra Parkes are among a group of runners who are busking their way around the Simplyhealth Great South Run dressed as Sergeant Pepper's. This is to raise money for Crisis and Step by Step charities to make Ian's 50th Birthday and the 50th anniversary of Sergeant Pepper's Homeless Hearts Club.

Triathlete William Martin decided to take on the Simplyhealth Great South Run to raise awareness about ME in support of his friend Ali Head who has suffered with the condition for twenty years.

He aims to get 100 runners signed up to TEAM100, who are all supporting Invest in ME Research and will commit to raising £100 each for the charity.

He added: “I saw how devastating ME has been for one of my friends and I decided I wanted to help raise awareness about this life changing illness.

“There's currently no cure for the condition and the simplest tasks can leave sufferers feeling like they have ran a marathon themselves.

“Invest in ME is a small, local charity in Hampshire that is made up of volunteers who want to open a centre of research into the disease.

“We currently have 40 sign-ups so far and I am confident we will be able to reach 100 by event day."

These inspirational runners will join thousands of participants who are set to pound the pavements of the scenic course that starts and finishes on Southsea's seafront, with beautiful views of the Solent.

The weekend has become a festival of sport, with the Simplyhealth Junior and Mini Great South Run and the Simplyhealth Great South 5k taking place the day before.
 
Entries for the Simplyhealth Great South Run are open. Enter at: Greatrun.org/South