Great South Run – your poems

The Great South Run 2014 was the 25th anniversary of the event  ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (143011-4760)
The Great South Run 2014 was the 25th anniversary of the event ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (143011-4760)
Have your say

The Great South Run is firmly established as one of the sporting and social highlights of the year in Portsmouth.

It provides inspiration for not only thousands of athletes but also the huge crowds that turn out to cheer them on as they pound the streets of Southsea.

Runners prepare to cross the start line at The Great South Run    Picture: Malcolm Wells (143011-4802)

Runners prepare to cross the start line at The Great South Run Picture: Malcolm Wells (143011-4802)

We asked readers to capture that inspiration in poetry and here is a selection of them:


Run like the wind

And think of your future,

Runners head along Clarence Parade in Southsea ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (143011-4839)

Runners head along Clarence Parade in Southsea ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (143011-4839)

Or think of their past;

God bless them all.

Like a free spirit,

You can run with it,

Be proud,

Be thoughtful,

That you can run at all.

Run with a passion,

Of being


To celebrate your achievement,

Yourself; one and all.

Phil Gibson

Florence Road



Some athletes are swift, some are slow,

Each according to his own pace,

But all towards glory may go

To the rhythm to life’s great race,

Hearts of courage keep in time

With the triumphant city chime.

Some run ’gainst the clock, some for a cause,

Soul and flesh strive until the last;

Imagine now that cause is yours –

Give to that angel gliding past.

Rise to the test through rain or sun:

All who endure have surely won.

Some never touch the pathway wide,

Their heels do not hard miles feel,

Some see with the eyes of a guide,

Some triumph by turning a wheel;

To young and old, full-figured and slight,

The finishing line’s a stirring sight.

Now hot wheels have ceased spinning

And slow hands heavy boots unlace;

In dreams tonight athletes are winning

As they equal world record pace.

If you, like they, care to believe,

With will and strength you shall achieve.

Go carefully in life’s race, and true,

Whether you walk or move at speed,

Inspired to effort by the view;

So enter with hope, and succeed.

Who gains the medal can proudly say :

‘I was there. I did The Great South Way.’

Les Thomas

King’s Road



Before you begin, to enter in,

The Great South Run you will need.

To build up your strength,

To go the whole length.

And be, the best you can be.

Morrisons can help you there,

With healthy food and and drinks,

Plus! Vegetables, vitamins and good lean meats.

For strengthening bones, we all know,

Milk and yoghurt’s, care.

With calcium, it helps those joints

To cope with wear and tear.

But! Should you come unstuck,

With blisters on your feet.

Have no fear, Morrisons is here.

Plasters, painkillers, cream? Oh dear!

Be prepared, a step ahead.

You can be in the head.

With this advice to you I hope.

With this advice to you hope,

I have planted a winning seed.

Failing that, just have fun.

Make friends as you go,

Helping out the charities.

Being kind so-and-so’s.

I’ll be there to sponsor you,

and cheer you as you go by.

I’m too out of condition to even give it a try.

Couch Potato.

Mary Denness

Balfour Road



Can I do it? Of course I can,

I’m good enough to run with anyone.

Once ‘I’m off’ I’ll just keep running,

I do hope the sun keeps shining.

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­One foot in front of the other,

that’s what they said,

I think I’d rather be in bed!

But if I did that, I’d never know,

what it was like to ‘have a go’.


Here is my chance to run the race,

So count me in, I’ll do my best.

In the Great South Race Run

Ready ­Steady ­Go!

Barbara Forsyth

Castle Street



Run, run, run, join in the fun

It’s time to sign up for the Great South Run

You’ll enjoy the fresh air and sight of the sea

As you chase down the prom in sunny Southsea,

Don’t delay, come and play

Your part in this special day.

Mrs M Jennings

96 Portsmouth Road



Come all ye brave hearts for the great south run

All ages are welcome, it is a lot of fun

Some people dress up in all kinds of gear

The great south run is for everyone, every year.

When you give up your time to join the run

You are someone special not just anyone

For all the good causes you can help on the day

You will have achieved in your own special way.

Let us hope on the day the weather’s not too bad

If the sun is shining you will be very glad

No one worries about a few spots of rain

You have the run before you will do it again.

Some folk run for fun and some to get thinner

In the great south run everyone’s a winner

From the first to the last the reason is the same

To join in and do it, it’s the name of the game.

Run, run, run as you hear the crowds cheer

These miles are behind you and the finish is near

As you see and feel those miles diminish

You can be in yourself when you see the finish.

Roderick Matheson-Hynds

Lower Wingfield Street



Many people will do the Great South Run.

Many people will do it for fun.

Many people will take pride.

Many people will look deep inside.

Many people will shine like a star

Many people will take it in turn.

Many people will come from near or far.

Many people standing strong and tall.

Many people excited by it all.

Many people like to achieve.

Many people need to believe.

Many people fight a good fight.

Many people see the light.

Many people want to know the truth.

Many people want to re-kindle their youth.

Many people will do it in memory of other

Many people will do it for their lovers

Many people do it because they can.

Many people stick to the plan.

Many people will do it in style

Many people understand.

Many people do it to show they care.

Many people shed a tear.

Many people want to be here.

Many people will be confident too.

Many people will see it through.

Many people will do it for a friend.

Many people will see it through to the end.

Many people are truly given.

Many people can be proud of the world we live in.

Many people the journey and adventure has begun.

Many hundreds and thousands will be doing the Great South Run.

Michelle Triggs

Merchistoun Road,



I’m doing the race this year,

So have had to lay off the beer,

But alas it keeps raining,

When I’m think of training,

And it seemed such a great idea.

A charity run oh what glee,

The joy at the finish I see,

Inspired by the chance,

Of those lives we’ll enhance,

If only my legs would agree.

Ross Ferguson


today i saw you running

running for our lives

today i saw you fighting

fighting for our hearts

today is the day we smash the barriers down

today we take back what’s ours and stop looking down

today i take this cancer and show it what i’m worth

today i make these words into my own verse

today your not taking all our love ones trough

today is the day that we get rid of you

today is the day that I prove this to you

so cancer chase me as fast as you dare

because i brought my pink army to take you down right here

Georgina Stapley

Botley Drive

Leigh Park



A call to arms to one and all,

Embarking on this feat so tall,

Great pride this city has in you,

With cheers of support so strong and true.

Your blood, your sweat, perhaps some tears,

But an achievement remembered for many years,

We’ll be behind you all the way,

On this YOUR glorious, magnificent day.

You’ll pound the streets of this fair place,

As you give your all for this great race,

But take some time to look around,

For much great beauty can be found.

The training’s done, the time is now,

To join the crowd, the rising swell,

The training’s done, the time is now,

Go forth brave friends – do Pompey proud.

Mark Davison


You’re on the start line, wait for the gun,

Some run for records, some run for fun,

Every step, every breath, every pounding heart,

It’s not about winning, it’s about taking part.

Trainers on with your running vest,

Welcome to Portsmouth, at its welcoming best.

30,000 athletes, all running around,

The home of the Navy, where our sailors are found.

As you count down the miles, your legs feeling weak,

Can you get that personal best that you seek?

Mile ten, mile nine, mile eight, mile seven,

You see the sights of Portsmouth and you think it is heaven.

You’re past the half-way mark, not far to go,

The crowds cheer you on, the sea breezes blow.

One final push, the end is now near,

You’ve run past the landmark of Southsea pier.

The greatest 10-miler in race history,

Past Spinnaker Tower, and HMS Victory,

Run down the prom, view the Isle of Wight,

Get a great feeling, the finish in sight.

You’ve just crossed the line, you’ve achieved you goal,

You’ve given your all, your heart and your soul,

Now that it’s finished, you look back and say,

Thank you to Portsmouth for a fantastic day.

Christian Evans


No relaxation,


Excitement and readiness,

Such eagerness.

The runners are waiting,

Hearts are pulsating.

Many Nations


Starter’s orders!

You run.

The crowd applaud,

The pulse of the drum.

Mark your way

Like a chameleon,

Colour competes

Through our historic streets.

Months of training,

Weeks of preparing

Paces gaining.

The Athlete,

Running feet,

Walking soles,

Mobile wheels

All aiming for your goals

The costumed Ballerina pauses,

As we give to the causes,

Money into her tin.

Charities gain

Through your pain,

You run,

Important one.

Your feet are the sails

Running forth into the Solent breeze

Passing through our nautical vibe,

With precision and ease .

Modern life surrounds you

Becoming one blurred fascination,

As you focus

Towards a destination.

Heading to your dream,

You will score, you are winning,

Play Up!,

The Pompey chimes are singing .

Spectators cheer,

You pass Southsea Pier .

But you are not jaded .

Finishing line is near.

Wipe away your tear

Of joy.

The body aches


A steady pace

The winner of this race.

Sweat, and elation

As you pass the last station

Of water .

Cheering gets louder,

Shouting becomes faster



The winning line!

Clock the time!

How do you feel?


South Run

Done .

Golden sun

Is your reward .

Stephen Allen,

Kent Road,



The Great South Run brings Portsmouth to the fore

All it has to offer and more and more

It’s beautiful beach and long esplanade

The green open spaces where picnics are made

There’s a skate park, and activities for kids

And plenty of cafes for the non-activist!


If you would like to see a proud smile on your loved one’s face

Dig deep inside yourself and enter the race

Along the way you can raise some cash – go on have a bash!

nearly everyone wants to achieve and have fun

Let this be your opportunity


Peggy Norrington


Right from the start

Under no illusion

Not deterred to take part

Now to complete to its conclusion

Inspired by their need

Next for support to appeal

Giving unreservedly is their creed

Fondly remembering

Others no longer alive

Recognising those seeking to survive

Opting to train

Through sunshine and rain

Hope –‘Springs Eternal’

Each seeking to obtain

Research monies – not personal fame

Saving lives their ultimate aim!

Susan Bird