Remarkable mini atheletes take to the stage in Portsmouth’s Great South Run

Girls' winners of the Mini Great South Run. Pictured left to right are, Emily Channon, second, Florence East, winner, and Finney Coomber, right.

Girls' winners of the Mini Great South Run. Pictured left to right are, Emily Channon, second, Florence East, winner, and Finney Coomber, right.

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TALENTED young runner Florence East looks destined to follow in her dad’s footsteps after she clinched a gold in the opening Mini Great South Run.

Her dad, Michael East, was the 1,500m Commonwealth gold medal winner for England in 2002. And today, the youngster managed to emulate her dad’s success at the same distance in Portsmouth.

Boys' winners of the Mini Great South Run. Pictured is Ruari Watts, eight, in second, Jack Portter, eight, in first, and Eddie Wilby-Lopez, eight, right.

Boys' winners of the Mini Great South Run. Pictured is Ruari Watts, eight, in second, Jack Portter, eight, in first, and Eddie Wilby-Lopez, eight, right.

She was the fastest girl in the competition and was third overall, with a blistering time of 5 min 39 sec.

Dad Michael – who romped to victory in 2002 with a time of 3 min 37 sec – said: ‘I’m enormously proud of her.

‘I still struggle to watch athletics – I have that burning desire to get stuck in when I do.

‘But honestly, I’m really happy to see Florence doing so well. I actually like to take a step back when it comes to watching my girls compete.’

Jack Potter, eight, of Whiteley, crosses the finishing line in the opening wave of the Mini Great South Run

Jack Potter, eight, of Whiteley, crosses the finishing line in the opening wave of the Mini Great South Run

More than 1,000 people took part in the fun run, with families and children dressing up in a seaside theme for the day.

There was everything from squids, pirates and fish, to monsters and boats making their way around the course.

The opening wave of runners saw children posting some impressive times.

The Jack Potter, eight, of Whiteley, took the top spot, narrowly beating rivals Ruari Watts, eight, and Eddie Wilby-Lopez into second and third respectively.

Ruari, of Fernhurst, was stunned by his own performance.

He said: ‘It feel amazing, I was shocked.

‘There was 1,000 people taking part and I never thought I was going to make it. It’s just a miracle.’

The fastest girls in the opening heat were Florence East, Finney Coomber, in second, and Emily Channon in third.

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