Record field as runners prepare for Great test

Julian Manning. Picture: Mick Young

Julian Manning. Picture: Mick Young

Heather Cubbage. Picture: Paul Smith

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Hundreds of runners will be streaming along Southsea seafront tomorrow morning with record entries for the RNLI 10k and the Southsea Pirates – Pieces of Eight.

Both events are becoming increasingly popular and provide many with an invaluable chance to check on their form ahead of the Great South Run on Sunday, October 26.

There will be close to 350 runners competing in the 10k, with around 200 set to tackle the eight-mile Pieces of Eight.

Both races start at the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) station, Ferry Road, Eastney (10am).

The out-and-back course takes runners along Southsea seafront before they return to finish at the station.

Last year Julian Manning took the men’s 10k title in 33min 37sec, while Magdalena Wujek was first female in 44.11. She is expected to defend her crown.

The Pieces of Eight was won by George Little in 46.27, with Emma Jolley ensuring a home success for Southsea Pirates as she was first female in a time of 54.19.

The 10k was the first race put on by organiser Rob Piggott seven years ago and he’s pleased to see how it has grown.

He said: ‘I’m really looking forward to it.

‘The 10k was the first-ever one that I did.

‘I’ve learned a lot of lessons since then.

‘Back then we did it with just a stop watch.

‘Now we close the road for the start and the finish.

‘We’ve got record numbers this year again – more than double the number of entrants in the Pieces of Eight.

‘It means we have had to order 150 extra medals to ensure everyone gets one.

‘The races are fitting nicely into people’s training programmes for the Great South Run.

‘It gives them a bit of a taster of the course and what it might be like – with a bit less wind.

‘With the two races we can give people a choice of distance but still run them together.

‘It just means the eight-mile runners carry on one mile further, before turning back.’

There will be places available on the day.

See the website fitprorob.biz for more information.

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