Portsmouth is preparing to welcome over 20,000 runners of all ages and abilities for the AJ Bell Great South Run this weekend.
All the action kicks off on Saturday 14 October with the AJ Bell Junior and Mini Great South Run and the eagerly anticipated 5K. The sold-out kids event is the perfect curtain raiser for a weekend of fun, with participants being encouraged to embrace the seaside location and run in their best marine-themed costumes for the chance of winning a prize for best dressed on the day.
The popular 5K event always features those running for good causes. this year that includes a group of 14 colleagues from B&Q running to raise funds in memory of their late colleague Cathy Currie, in support of Rowan’s Hospice Portsmouth who looked after her in her final days.
Former Royal Marines Commando, Chris Oliver, known for his role in the hit Channel 4 show Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins, will be honoured as the official starter. Chris, who began his service with the Royal Marines at the age of 16, will also participate in the event to champion RMA – The Royal Marines Charity.
Chris said, “Being a part of the AJ Bell Great South Run, both as the official starter and a participant, means a lot. Running has been a big part of my life, and to see so many people, regardless of age or experience, participate for charitable causes is inspiring. The work RMA – The Royal Marines Charity undertakes is invaluable, and I’m proud to raise awareness for them.”
Notable elite athletes include, Lilly Partridge, last year’s champion, who will be defending her title in Sunday’s 10-mile race, alongside Olympian Callum Hawkins, the Scottish Marathon & Half Marathon record holder.
Paralympic athlete Richard Whitehead will also be taking part to represent his own charity, the Richard Whitehead Foundation, in collaboration with the Nissan Possibilities Project, supported by former GB Athlete and TV presenter Iwan Thomas.
Paul Foster, Chief Executive at the Great Run Company said, “It’s always exhilarating to witness the energy and passion of Portsmouth at the AJ Bell Great South Run.
“We’re in store for yet another incredible weekend of sport. From young participants in the AJ Bell Junior and Mini Run to elite athletes pushing their limits, it’s a manifestation of dedication, camaraderie, and community spirit.”
The AJ Bell Great South Run is celebrated as probably the world’s favourite 10-miler. Participants can expect brilliant support, an electric atmosphere, and unparalleled sea views. Portsmouth’s supporters are known for their enthusiasm, making every runner feel celebrated all al long the course.