Chris Thompson bounced back to top form at the Great South Run at Portsmouth on Sunday (23 October) to win a tactical battle of wits with Aldershot team mate Andy Vernon. Tirunesh Dibaba was a serene winner of the women’s 10 mile race and 40 people qualified for a free entry next year by finishing ahead of Olympic sixth placed race walker, Tom Bosworth, in the GSR 5K!
This was the 27th GSR and unusually the runners had the benefit of a helpful following wind in the closing miles on the Southsea seafront. The big draw this year was triple Olympic champion Tirunesh Dibaba who lost no time in stamping her authority on the elite women’s field. A fifth mile in less than five minutes saw off the stubborn resistance of her Ethiopian compatriot Senbere Teferi who appeared to suffer a painful stitch at halfway.
The winning time (51:49) was not the anticipated course record but the margin of victory was impressive as Teferi (52:51) and Elizeba Cherono (Holland, 53:34) joined Dibaba on the podium. The top three British athletes were next across the line: Lily Partridge (Aldershot, 54:51 PB), Beth Potter (Shaftesbury, 54:57 PB) and Gemma Steel (Charnwood, 55:18).
There was much jockeying for position in the men’s race until Chris Thompson put the hammer down after 10k was completed in 29:56. A ninth mile in 4:29 destroyed any slim hopes of victory for the opposition as Thompson (47:23 PB) swept majestically to victory at his fifth attempt in this race to become the first British winner since Mo Farah in 2009.
The men’s rostrum was completed by Vernon (48:09 PB) and an inspired Matt Sharp (Enfield & Haringey, 48:18 PB). Paul Pollock (Kent AC, 48:21 PB), Jeffrey Eggleston (USA, 48:28) and Scott Overall (Blackheath, 49:07) completed the top six from approximately 20,000 competitors.
The previous day had been all about the GSR 5K and the winners were local favourite, Lachlan Wellington (Portsmouth, 15:18 PB) and Maisie Grice (Aldershot, 18:35 PB).
If you would like to take part in the 2017 GSR, perhaps having been inspired by the TV coverage of this year’s race, there are 25% off early bird entry offers available on the official GSR website.