The annual 10-miler in Southsea
My very first Simplyhealth Great South Run was certainly one I’ll always remember, especially given it was a great day out overall with friends. Indeed, I’m going to make sure I’m back for another crack in 2019 and sign up early!
Despite being from the south coast, I’m not sure why it had taken me so long to run the famous 10-mile race, which sees thousands of runners run along the picturesque Southsea Waterfront – at the same time as hundreds of spectators line the streets, offering great support.
I have to say, the race organisation was superb – from the delivery of race packs to your doorstop – to the easy-to-use baggage drop, toilet facilities, pre-race warm-up and sensible race wave areas.
The start and finish line set-up in Southsea Common was perfect for arranging post-race meet-ups as well as being excellent viewpoints for spectators.
I began in the Orange wave and it took me four or so minutes to make my way through the running clock – after the sounding of the start gun.
The first stretch up past the Portsmouth War Memorial was tricky to negotiate given there was plenty of congestion, with runners of different levels jostling for position, but from there on in, the route through St. George’s Road, past Ordanance Row and the HMS Victory up to mile two began to spread out.
My average pace throughout was 6:15 per mile but I felt I had a bit more in the tank to go quicker over the first five miles – particularly given the course was nice and flat.
I enjoyed the up and down segment of the event on Winston Churchill Avenue – and as I mentioned, the support was great – with local bands, volunteers, marshals and children at drinks stations all playing their part in making the Great South Run the event that it is.
I lost some momentum, zip and speed but not rhythm as I made my way to the six-mile marker and along the Eastern Parade, where people were in full voice supporting runners.
I still felt good but reined in my pace slightly before picking things up again at the corner of Henderson Road (mile eight) and then along the Esplanade to the finish in the common, which was a superb ending to the run.
Overall, I wanted to be a bit closer to the one-hour marker but exited the course content enough. I left most of what I had out there on the course after a long week – which included moving countries!
Well done to all the runners out there! Feel free to comment and let me know your race thoughts!