Local Runners Kick Off Countdown to Great South Run

Brooks Shoe Finder

Inspirational local runners met on the steps of the Guildhall today to begin the countdown to their Great South Run challenge, which will take place on 16 October. The group discussed their plans for the event and how training helps them manage challenges in their day to day lives.

They were joined by joined Councillor Ben Dowling, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Economic Development who said the city was looking forward to the return of the event, a huge day in Portsmouth’s sporting calendar. “The Great South Run is a crucial part of Portsmouth’s annual calendar of events; we can’t wait to see the run return this year.

“It has such a massive impact on the city both culturally and economically. We’ve had the run in the city for so long now, we have generations of residents and visitors alike taking part, which is absolutely brilliant to see.

“The economic impact is significant, the number of people coming into the city over the weekend of the Great South Run, means that seafront businesses, local businesses and the secondary spend across the city to hoteliers and restaurants makes a real contribution to the local economy.”

Runners meeting Cllr Dowling today are all taking part for their own special reasons. Dale Muffett age 31 from Havant, completed the race in 2019 two minutes over his target time of 1:20. He entered in 2020 to try again, but COVID got in the way. Dale was due to run once more in 2021, but was hit by a car whilst out jogging on New Year’s Day. This life changing accident caused a spinal cord injury that paralysed him. He is now planning to do the 2022 event in a wheelchair.

Cerianne Stewart and the Runbuds are a group of local mums who started running during lockdown and have since become great friends, they completed the event in 2021 and are looking forward to coming back in 2022.

Emily England, 21, from the New Forest, a dual field adult & Mental Health nurse is running for Mind. Emily developed an eating disorder during the pandemic and found it really difficult to get help. Mind provided the guidance that allowed her to live her life. She’s running to raise money for those who need help and to break the stigma around mental health, and prove that even health professionals need help sometimes.

Emily said, “I really struggled with managing exercise in a healthy way. Throughout the first lockdown I was over exercising, and running every day.

“Signing up for the Great South Run encouraged me to make a long-term plan that kept me on track and focussed without over training.”

“I’m really looking forward the atmosphere on the day, running socially with friends – and of course, crossing the finish line!” 

The runners were joined by students from Portsmouth University, for the first time in 2022 a group of 300 staff and students will be taking on the challenge of the event together in October.

The action will get underway with the popular Great South 5K and Great South Junior Mini Run, on Saturday 15 October.  The main event, the Great South Run, takes place on Sunday 16 October and is an opportunity to celebrate everything that’s incredible about Portsmouth.

The world’s most famous 10-mile run for over 30 years starts and finishes on the glorious seafront, the event provides stunning running at every turn with breath-taking views of the Isle of Wight.  The route offers a run through history passing iconic landmarks including the Historic Dockyard, HMS Victory and Southsea Castle.

With entertainment zones that celebrate local character, incredible crowd support, and rocking music at every mile, it’s a party atmosphere from start to finish.  It’s a run for everyone, from locals to celebrated athletes, whether it’s your first event or your 50th.  An inclusive celebration of running, with music blazing, crowds buzzing, legs pumping and fists bumping.  Portsmouth comes alive on Great South Run weekend.

For more information or to enter the event click here.