25,000 Take Part In Iconic Great South Run Weekend

Great Comeback 3

Runners signing up for next year's 10 mile event can take advantage of 25% off their entry fees, for a limited time only. For more information, visit Greatrun.org/South

It was a weekend to remember for Portsmouth and Southsea as the South Coast played host to 25,000 runners over the weekend for the Great South Run, the world's leading 10-mile running event.

Staged for the 27th time, the Great South Run comprised of four events across two days for all ages and abilities, with Chris Thompson and Tirunesh Dibaba winning the elite races on Sunday.

Thompson had fallen short on his previous four attempts in Portsmouth, but used his experience of the course to spoil Andy Vernon's homecoming party and take his first victory on the South Coast in style.

Camberley's Thompson clocked 47.23 with Vernon, from nearby Fareham, finishing in 48.09.

Matt Sharp was third over the line in 48.18. While he was made to wait for his win, Dibaba won the women's race on her 10-mile debut in Portsmouth.

The triple Olympic champion and nine-time World champion cruised home to a maiden victory, sealing an Ethiopian one-two with Dibaba taking victory in 51.49, and compatriot Senbere Teferi more than a minute behind in 52.51.

Elizeba Cherono, who won last weekend's Great Birmingham Run, was third in 53.54. Lily Partridge was the first British female over the line in 54.41.

The Great South Run featured a 10 mile tour of Portsmouth, with a fast and flat course that has been graced over the years by world-class athletes such as Mo Farah, Liz McColgan, Paula Radcliffe, and Sonia O'Sullivan.

The event, staged in the city since 1991, gave participants the unique opportunity to run through Portsmouth's Historic Dockyard, passing iconic landmarks such as HMS Victory, HMS Warrior and the Mary Rose Museum.

The weekend of sporting action began on the Saturday with the Great South Run 5K where race walker Tom Bosworth set a challenge where any runner beating his time would gain free entry into 2017's event.

The Olympian finished in a time of 20.12, with 40 runners crossing the line before him to claim their prize for the 5K next year.

Thousands of children took centre stage in the Junior and Mini Great South Run shortly afterwards on Clarence Esplanade, with Blue Peter presenter Radzi Chinyanganya entertaining the crowd.

Radzi was on hand to cheer on the 2,000 children taking part in the biggest children's running event in the south, for kids aged between three to 15 years old – where participants were encouraged to turn out in fancy dress.

For the 10-mile event on Sunday, where an estimated £4million was raised by runners for charity, Olympic athletes Alan and Della Pascoe returned to Portsmouth where their athletics career began to be official starters.

Alan is best known for winning Commonwealth and European gold in the 400m hurdles and Olympic silver in the 4 x 400m relay and previous British 100m record holder, while Olympic semi-finalist Della competed in the sprints at the 1968 Mexico Olympics and the 1972 Games in Munich.

Olympic gold medallist sailors Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark joined the couple on the start line to set off the elite women before Alan and Della sent the runners on their way.

Entries are open for the Great South Run, Great South Run 5k and the Junior and Mini Great South Run which will take place over the weekend of October 21-22 2017.

Runners signing up for next year's 10 mile event can take advantage of 25% off their entry fees, for a limited time only. For more information, visit Greatrun.org/South