Smiles all round as participants conclude Great South Run 5k

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HUNDREDS of runners have taken part in this morning’s Great South Run 5km.

Everything from elite runners to superheroes and families to cuddly bears took part in the race.

Hundreds of spectators lined the winding seaside course in Southsea to watch the spectacle.

The race was officially launched by Portsmouth’s Deputy Lord Mayor Ken Elcombe, with three waves of runners setting off.

Portsmouth teenager Lachlan Wellington ran a blistering race, smashing the field and clinching a personal best time of 15min 18sec.

The 15-year-old, who runs with the City of Portsmouth Athletics Club, said: ‘It was fantastic running in my home town. It’s a wonderful event and I didn’t think I would get a PB today.’

He was closely followed by James Share, 25, of Guildford in 2nd (15min 49sec) and James Henghan, 17.

There were tears as inspirational disabled teen Natasha Lambert crossed the finish line.

The 19-year-old was the first to set off this morning and was cheered by hundreds of people across the route.

She was welcomed by her family and friends who hugged her.

Mum Amanda said: ‘I was in tears when she crossed he finish line. It’s been absolutely incredible.

‘The crowd has cheered her on all the way. Everybody has just been so supportive. It really kept Natasha going. She wouldn’t have done it without it.

‘For her to achieve this is just amazing.

‘I’m just so proud of her. I think I’m going to cry.’

The first woman over the finishing line was Maisie Grice, 16, of Fareham.

She was closely followed by friend Nicole Ainsworth, 14, also of Fareham, and 32-year-old Karen Andrews, of Hedgend.

Maisie said: ‘Its been amazing to be part of it all today.’

MINI GREAT SOUTH RUN:

PIRATES and pink – that is the dress code of the day for hundreds of children taking part in the Mini Great South Run.

Youngsters are warming up by dancing before they set off on their race.

The 1,500m race will see the little runners sprinting along the Southsea seafront.