Countdown begins for Great South Run

Olympic speed walker Tom Bosworth, who is taking part in this year's Great South Run 5km
Olympic speed walker Tom Bosworth, who is taking part in this year's Great South Run 5km

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WITH just four weeks to go, thousands of people have already signed up for this year’s Great South Run.

The Portsmouth race will see people of all ages and abilities take on the 10-mile route on Sunday, October 23.

Helen Tucker, husband Adrian and Benjamin

Helen Tucker, husband Adrian and Benjamin

The day before the city will host the 5km race which race walker Tom Bosworth will be taking part in. The 26-year-old Olympian holds the national record for the 3km, 5km, 10km and 20mk distances and is challenging runners of the 5km race to try and beat his walking time.

He said: ‘I think the challenge to run faster than I walk is a great one. No-one has any idea how fast race walkers can go and when they hear my British 5km record, some are stunned.

‘For people to race me, it makes the Great South Run 5km an exciting prospect. It’s a great achievement for anyone who does beat me walking, as they have to be going at a decent effort and speed.’

Looking to take on Tom is mum Helen Tucker. She is running in her first-ever race to raise funds for the hospital ward that cared for her son Benjamin after he received life-saving heart surgery when he was five-months-old.

For people to race me, it makes the Great South Run 5km an exciting prospect.

Tom Bosworth

Benjamin was born with a heart defect and went through major open heart surgery at Ocean Ward in Southampton General Hospital.

Helen is taking part in the Great South Run 5km to raise money for Families of Ocean Ward – a charity that supports parents of children who have cardiac disease.

The Junior and Mini Great South Run, which is for children, will also be on Saturday, October 22. Registration is still open. Visit greatrun.org/south.