Thompson And Pavey To Run Great South Run
The resurgent Chris Thompson and Supermum Jo Pavey face world class opposition on home ground when they fly the flag for the south of England in the Morrisons Great South Run on Sunday.
Thompson, winner of the European Championship 10,000m silver medal behind Mo Farah in 2010, made a heartening return to form after a career-threatening injury with an emotional victory in the Morrisons Great Birmingham Run last Sunday.
The 34-year-old pride of Aldershot Farnham and District club will have to overcome a loaded field if he is to complete a famous Great Run double in the prestigious IAAF Gold Label ten mile race in Portsmouth.
Uganda's Commonwealth 10,000m champion Moses Kipsiro will be going for his own Great Run double after returning to form with an impressive victory in the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run half marathon in Glasgow on 4 October.
The elite men's field also includes a trio of leading Kenyan runners: 2013 world cross country champion Japheth Korir, 2013 Great South Run winner Emmanuel Bett and Great North Run course record holder Martin Mathathi.
They will be backed by compatriots Emmanuel Kipsang, Kevin Kochei, John Mnangat and Evans Kigen Kirui, while Poland's Marcin Chabowski and Japan's Takehiro Deki provide further international interest.
On the domestic front, Thompson will be joined by Olympic marathon man Scott Overall and Commonwealth Games representatives Dewi Griffiths and James Wilkinson.
Pavey lines up as a two time winner of the world's leading ten mile race, having triumphed in 2006 and 2012, but the 42-year-old Exeter Harrier faces a tough task in 2015.
The elite women's field includes Vivian Cheruiyot, the Kenyan who took her collection of World Championship gold medals to four with her 10,000m victory in Beijing in August.
Pavey, the reigning European 10,000m champion, also faces two of the three women who finished ahead of her in the Great Scottish Run: second-placed Kenyan Doris Changeiywo and third placed Briton Gemma Steel of Charnwood AC.
Kate Avery, runner up to Steel in last year's European cross country championships, and former European cross country champion Charlotte Purdue provide further British strength in the field.
However, Kenya's Betsy Saina, winner of this year's Morrisons Great Manchester Run 10km is likely to be right at the sharp end and other international challengers include Poland's Iwona Lewandowska and Jip Vastenburg of the Netherlands.
The world's leading 10 mile run starts and finishes in Southsea and 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 flat course has been graced by world-class athletes such as Liz McColgan, Paula Radcliffe, Sonia O'Sullivan, and Mo Farah, who won the men's race in 2009.
The event has grown into a festival of sport in Portsmouth and Southsea, wit around 25,000 people taking part in four events across two days, including the Morrisons Junior & Mini Great South Run and the Morrisons Great South Run 5k.