Pavey out as Shelley signs up

Australia's Michael Shelley celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men's marathon at the 2014 Commonwealth Games

Australia's Michael Shelley celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men's marathon at the 2014 Commonwealth Games

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Injury has denied Jo Pavey her dream of a hat-trick of Great South victories.

The European 10,000m champion had envisaged glory around the streets of Portsmouth on Sunday, October 26 as the perfect way to round off an unforgettable 2014.

But the 41-year-old, who won Commonwealth Games bronze just weeks before victory in Zurich, has been prevented from achieving that goal because of a heel problem.

Bupa Great South Run organisers, however, have been quick to make up for that loss with news that Commonwealth Games marathon champion Michael Shelley will make his debut at the event.

The 31-year-old from the Gold Coast has not competed in a major 10-mile race before and will be attempting to become the first Australian athlete to win the elite men’s section of the world’s leading event at the classic distance.

‘Ten miles is a great little distance to race,’ said Shelley.

‘It’s in between the 10km and the half marathon, so you can really push yourself.

‘I’m looking forward to the 10-mile challenge. It should be a great event.

‘I love running in these mass participation races.

‘I enjoy listening to the experiences of people who run for charities and other reasons.

‘It’s just as exciting for them as it is on the elite side.’

Shelley became the first non-African winner of the Commonwealth men’s marathon title for 20 years when he overhauled Kenya’s Stephen Chemlany towards the end of a gripping 26.2m race at Glasgow 2014 in August.

He returned to the scene of his Commonwealth triumph last weekend, finishing fifth in the Great Scottish Run half marathon.

It was his first race against Haile Gebrselassie, who dropped out after three miles.

And Shelley is hoping that the great Ethiopian recovers from his asthmatic problems to join him in the 25th Bupa Great South Run.

‘I’ve always been in awe of Haile,’ said Shelley. ‘He’s the greatest of all time. It was an absolute honour just to meet him in Glasgow.’

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