Great South Run Returns to Portsmouth this Weekend

Womens Running Christmas

Inspiring runners and elite athletes gathered at the Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth today ahead of the Great South Run. The event is returning to the city this weekend, kicking off with the Great South Run 5k and the Junior Mini Great South Run on Saturday 15 October, with the 10-mile main event taking place on Sunday.

Starting and finishing on the glorious seafront, the route offers a run through history passing iconic landmarks including the Historic Dockyard, HMS Victory and Southsea Castle along with breath-taking views of the Isle of Wight.

Over 20,000 runners of all ages and abilities are expected to take part, with many raising money for good causes. Amongst them will be Ben Brookes and his daughter Robin, who has Down Syndrome. Ben is part of a group of Dad’s dressing up as superheroes to run with their sidekicks at the Mini Great South Run on Saturday and then again on Sunday to raise funds for Portsmouth Down Syndrome Association. Ben and Robin will be running as … Batman and Robin!

Ben said, “We’re really looking forward to taking part this year. The event is a big fundraising opportunity for the charity every year and we often dress up, but this is our first year as superheroes. We’re hoping the crowds will really get behind us.”

Other runners raising awareness of their fundraising goals ahead of the weekend today included;

NHS Physiotherapist Fiona Bingham running with a group of friends to raise money for the rehabilitation her son Rudy needs, following his life changing spinal surgery (SDR).

Colleagues Aina Sutka and Laura Collins from the Queens Hotel in Portsmouth. The women are running for Spark Community Space; a Southsea based charity helping those affected by social exclusion.

Mentor Mike O’Doherty raising funds for Portsmouth A Band of Brothers. The charity supports young men 18-25 who are either already known to Criminal Justice System or at risk of becoming so.

Great South Run veteran Simon Ware, who has taken on every event to date. He is also an employee of the Mary Rose Museum who are celebrating the 40th anniversary of raising the Mary Rose.

They were joined by 2021 Olympian Ben Connor and Birchfield Harriers Lilly Partridge who will be at the front of the field on Sunday, alongside top-class running talent from across the UK.

Other notable runners taking part include; Paralympic Gold and Silver medallist and Nissan Ambassador Richard Whitehead and running icon Kathrine Switzer. 75-year old Kathrine became one of sport’s most inspiring role models when she took on the Boston Marathon in 1967, despite prevailing attitudes around women and long distance running at the time.

Chief Executive Paul Foster said,” We’re looking forward to a fantastic weekend in Portsmouth.

“Whether you’re running for charity, a personal challenge or just for fun we want to wish you all the best of luck and encourage the city to come out and support all of these extraordinary runners on the day.”

Find out more about the Great South Run here.