Race will be a trip down memory lane at 25th run

JUST THE START The first-ever Great South Run in Portsmouth in 1991
JUST THE START The first-ever Great South Run in Portsmouth in 1991

People told not to be alarmed by armed police officers on patrol

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THOUSANDS of people will pound the pavements of Portsmouth in this year’s Bupa Great South Run’s 25th year.

And organisers want past runners to send in their photos of when they took on the 10-mile challenge.

Submitted photos will be displayed big screens at the event on October 26 – and one person will win a trip to France from Brittany Ferries.

David Hart, communications director at organisers Nova International, said: ‘This is a very exciting year for the Great South Run.

‘Not only are we celebrating a milestone year, but we’re also looking back at 25 years of running memories for thousands of runners.

‘It has been an amazing journey for the event, and it could not have happened without the support and enthusiasm of Portsmouth City Council for 24 of the 25 years.’

Today, 25 runners are due to gather in the city to launch the event, with memorabilia, medals, newspaper cuttings and photographs on show stretching back to the first run in 1990.

It started in Southampton with just 2,000 runners before moving to Portsmouth after the following year – it now attracts 25,000 people each year.

Each person at the launch today represents a year that is important to them.

Jane Slatter, from Waterlooville, completed the run with her grandad Ken Morgan in 2001.

She said: ‘My granddad and dad were both keen runners and took part in the first few events.

‘My first year was 2001 and I hope to return again in 2014.

‘It’s a great event with a lovely course and fantastic atmosphere.’

Over the years the fast and flat course has been run by world class athletes, including Liz McColgan, Paula Radcliffe, Sonia O’Sullivan and Mo Farah, who won the men’s race in 2009.

As reported, the route takes people on a historical tour of the city, going through the Historic Dockyard and past the Mary Rose Museum, which houses Henry VIII’s flagship that sank in 1545.

Runners are supported by thousands of residents who come out to watch the spectacle through the city.

And it is not just one event, with nearly 30,000 people taking part in four events – the run itself, the Junior and the Mini Great South Run, and the Bupa Great South Run 5km, which started in 2011.

Register for the run at greatrun.org and to submit photographs for the 10 Mile Memories project go to greatrun.org/memories