Entries for the Simplyhealth Great South Run are open. Enter at: Greatrun.org/South
Today saw Team GB’s long distance athlete Andy Vernon launch the Simplyhealth Great South Run at the Action Stations Boathouse in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.
Andy Vernon, fresh from his first Olympic Games in Rio last year, joined a group of serving Royal Marines who have signed up to take on the event on Sunday 22 October.
The group are running to support the SeaMore Appeal, a major project by the National Museum of the Royal Navy to bring its museum to a new home in the Dockyard.
Andy Vernon, who came second to his fellow Aldershot, Farnham & District AC member Chris Thompson in the 2016 elite men’s race, intends to take on the world’s leading 10-mile running event this year.
A victory in 2017 would put him alongside fellow British winners such as Gary Staines and Sir Mo Farah, who won the event in 2009.
He said: “I have very fond memories of the Simplyhealth Great South Run. The event is a brilliant weekend; it attracts top athletes and the people on the streets of Portsmouth make it a great atmosphere to be a part of.
“It’s great to see Simplyhealth, a local south of England based company, as the headline sponsor for the Series, which kicked off in Edinburgh earlier this month.
“I’m inspired to be able to run with so many people who are taking part for important charities and good causes such as Revitalise, which provides respite holidays across the south of England.
“If I get the opportunity to take part in this year’s Simplyhealth Great South Run then I will.”
In 2016, almost three million pounds was raised by runners at the event for charitable causes.
This year’s event will also be important to the SeaMore Appeal, who are encouraging a large number of Royal Marines and Cadets across the region to run the 10 miles to help reach the campaign’s £2m target.
Paul Elgood, head of fundraising at the National Museum of the Royal Navy, said: “We are delighted to be working with runners from the Royal Marines for this year’s Great South Run in support of our SeaMore Appeal.
“This will raise funds for the National Museum of the Royal Navy’s new Centre for Discovery and Royal Marines Museum to help transform public access to the unique naval heritage held in our collections.
“It’s great to have the runners from the Royal Marines take on the Great South run challenge and to lead the way for this fantastic project.”
The Simplyhealth Great South Run gives participants a unique opportunity to run through Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard, passing iconic landmarks such as HMS Victory, HMS Warrior and the Mary Rose Museum.
The event has become a festival of sport, with 25,000 people taking part across the weekend, which also includes the Simplyhealth Great South Run 5k and the Simplyhealth Junior and Mini Great South Run.
The fast and flat course has also been graced by other athletes such as Liz McColgan, Jo Pavey, Paula Radcliffe and Sonia O’Sullivan.
David Hart, Communications Director at The Great Run Company, said: “The Simplyhealth Great South Run has a strong reputation for attracting world-class athletes and it’s also great to see such inspirational people involved in the event.
“We hope that others will follow their example and set themselves a goal for either fun, fitness or fundraising and sign up to take part in the world’s leading 10 mile running event this October.”
Entries for the Simplyhealth Great South Run are now open. To enter, visit: Greatrun.org/South