Defending champion Eilish McColgan is hoping to wrap up a busy 2021 with another strong performance on the streets of Southsea.
She clocked a top 10 finish in the Olympic 10,000m final in Tokyo and a new British Record over 5,000m on the track at the Diamond League in Brussels before turning her attention to the roads.
Eilish became the fastest ever British Half Marathon debutant, when she finished the Great North Run in 67.48 and claimed second place behind World Champion Hellen Obiri. Following pace-making duties at the London Marathon Eilish is now concentrating on a strong finish to her season on the South Coast.
“’I’m really excited to be back in Portsmouth for the Great South Run. After it’s cancellation last year, I’m more eager than ever to get on the start line with everyone and can’t wait to be back racing! Hoping for some good weather and a fast time”
McColgan, who will start as race favourite, shouldn’t have things all her own way. Fellow Olympian Jess Piasecki will be lining up after her impressive 3rd place at the Great Manchester Run that was also a personal best over 10k. Verity Ockenden, 2021 European Indoor bronze medallist over 3000m will be hoping to go one better on Sunday after finishing 2nd to McColgan at the Great South Run in 2019. 2 x Dutch National 5000m Champion Jip Vastenburg who boasts a 54.02 personal best and represents Stockport Harriers is also likely to be pushing for a podium place.
The men’s race should be a closely contested race between 3-time Great South Run Champion Chris Thompson and fellow Brits Ross Millington, Emile Cairess and Jack Rowe. Although Thompson has the fastest time on paper Cairess put in an impressive debut performance at the Great North Run finishing 5th and will be hoping to better his 3rd place showing at the last edition of the race in 2019.
Jack Rowe has been running very well of late setting 12 personal bests throughout the year over various distances, non-more impressive than his 3rd place finish in Manchester where he recorded 28.07. He will run another PB over 10 miles in Portsmouth as he debuts over the distance this year.
Another athlete who will be hoping to feature is Ross Millington who is yet to race on the roads in 2021, but given his credentials and 47.46 PB over the distance should see him pushing for the podium.