Morrisons to sponsor Portsmouth’s Great South Run

Runners in last year's Great South Run in Clarence Parade, Southsea
Runners in last year's Great South Run in Clarence Parade, Southsea
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Supermarket chain Morrisons is the new sponsor of the Great South Run.

It replaces Bupa who had backed the Great Run series, which includes the flagship event in Southsea and races around the country, for 22 years

The announcement was made this morning, with Great Run founder and chairman Brendan Foster saying the four-year agreement could help push participation into seven figures.

The broadcaster and former Olympic medallist created the Great North Run in 1981 and it has grown to be the second biggest half-marathon in the world.

The Great Run Series has developed around it and boasts events across eight cities - all of which will now be sponsored by the Yorkshire-based supermarket.

The Great South Run is recognised as the world’s leading 10-mile road race and celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2014.

‘We are delighted to welcome Morrisons as the title sponsor of the Great Run series and we are excited about the association between one of Britain’s biggest retailers and Britain’s biggest mass participation running series,’ Foster said.

‘Our ambition is to have a million people taking part in our Great Run programme and Morrisons are ideal partners to help us to achieve this.’

Explaining the deal, Morrisons chief executive, Dalton Philips added: ‘Over the last 34 years, the Great North Run has become a national institution and now with Great Runs across Britain, we believe it should be supported by a truly British sponsor. We have stores in more than 500 communities so we can play a big part in getting more people running with all the benefits that brings.’

The sponsorship will start with Saturday’s Great Winter Run in Edinburgh.