Jo Pavey ready for Great South Run return in Portsmouth

Runners stream past HMS Victory in the Historic Dockyard

Simplyhealth Great South Run

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Jo Pavey can’t wait to continue her love affair with the Great South Run.

The inspirational athlete will be lining up with thousands of other runners in Portsmouth for the event on Sunday, October 25.

Jo Pavey at the Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth. Picture: David Brawn

Jo Pavey at the Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth. Picture: David Brawn

For Pavey, who is a two-time winner of the race, it is always a special event.

She said: ‘I’m really excited about the Great South Run. I really love this race. It is such a great course.

‘The people of Portsmouth really get behind it. It’s fast and flat, very competitive. It’s just lovely being out there running with thousands of runners running for really inspirational charities and going for their own goals.’

The 42-year-old has been boosted by her performance in the Great Scottish Run recently when she set a new British best for an over-40 lady with a time of 1hr 09min 58sec.

I think it makes it an exciting challenge right at the end. Everyone has to dig deep and you get yourself mentally ready for that.

Jo Pavey

That has given the 2014 European 10,000m champion an extra lift ahead of the Morrisons Great South Run.

She added: ‘I was pleased with my run in the Great Scottish Run because this year I’ve decided to take an easier year.

‘I decided to sit out the track season and not go for the championships.

‘So I was pleasantly surprised because I was pleased with the time that I ran.

Jo Pavey is a two-time winner of the Great South Run in Portsmouth - 2006 and 2012

Jo Pavey is a two-time winner of the Great South Run in Portsmouth - 2006 and 2012

‘I’m getting older, 42 now, so I was pretty pleased with my run because I hadn’t been racing much this year.

‘That was something that has helped me think, hopefully I can try to get fitter for this next run so really I just want to get out there and be as competitive as I can. It is always a really tough race.’

Pavey relishes the Great South Run atmosphere and after grabbing the opportunity to do some training on the seafront, she is ready to take on the elements - including the infamous Southsea wind that batters runners on the final two-mile stretch.

‘Everyone expects that,’ said Pavey.

‘I think it makes it an exciting challenge right at the end. Everyone has to dig deep and you get yourself mentally ready for that. It’s such a great course, anyway.

‘I just love the challenge. I love the scenic seafront at the end which is always a big challenge and I have been out running this morning. It just reminded me how beautiful it is out there where the race is.’