OLYMPIAN Jess Andrews has told of her excitment to take part in today’s Great South Run in Portsmouth.
The athlete, who competed at this year’s Rio Olympics, said she is ready to put on a strong show in front of her home crowd.
The 24-year-old will be one of a number of top-level atheletes competing at today’s spectacle, which has attracted about 25,000 runners from across the globe.
Andrews, of the Isle of Wight, said: ‘This is going to be a very special moment for me.
‘I’m from the Isle of Wight so this is as close to a home race as I can get.
‘It really does make it extra special becuase I will be having my friends and family cheering me on.
‘That’s something that doesn’t always happen when I’m competing around the world.’
The British 10,000m champion was on hand yesterday to wish runners good luck as they tackled the 5k race.
She added she would have loved to have joined the race but admitted she was saving her energy for today’s competition.
Speaking of the 5k, Andrews said: ‘It’s amazing. I didn’t expect the 5k to have so many people here.
‘I have only done the Great South Run once before, so to be able to come down and see all the support is incredible.
‘The event just gets bigger and bigger each year.’
Other big names at this year’s race include three-time Olympic gold medalist Tirunesh Dibaba, Rio Olympians Beth Potter and Alyson Dixon and 2014 Euro Cross champion Gemma Steel.
The Great South Run will be broadcast live on Channel 5 between 10am and midday.
The action is set to begin at 10.15am with the elite women’s run, followed at 10.35am by the elite men’s.
The tens of thousands of other runners will then be launched in a series of waves; white wave will launch at 10.48am, green begins at 11.05am.
The 10-mile flat course will wind through the city, starting outside the Pyramids Centre, in Clarence Esplanade, Southsea.
This is the 26th year the event has been held in Portsmouth.
In the past the race has been graced by athletes such as Paula Radcliffe, Liz McColgan and Mo Farah, who won the men’s race in 2009.
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