COMMENT: It’s not the finishing time that matters for everyone

There are some stories we report on which just put life’s other problems into perspective. And the young life of Maya Guinoubi is one such story.

Within hours of her birth, the three-year-old had to be whisked from Queen Alexandra Hospital here in Portsmouth to Southampton General Hospital for emergency surgery.

Maya was born with a rare condition called tracheoesophageal fistula and oesophageal atresia (TOF & OA) and as a result has already had 10 operations, forcing her into long stays in hospital.

The condition caused dextrocardia, where Maya’s heart is on the opposite side from where it should be and twisted. She also has an absent right lung and right pulmonary artery and was born unable to swallow or breathe on her own.

But amazingly, the youngster has refused to let her health problems stand in her way – she is already going to ballet and tap classes.

And even more impressively, next month she is planning to take part in the Simplyhealth Mini Great South Run alongside her grandfather.

Maya’s tale is just one of the many inspirational stories of those taking part in the event.

Every year, thousands of people line up to take part in the event, from elite athletes looking to break records to club runners, and many, many more doing it for charity for whom the time they take to finish is secondary to being there and taking part.

Among those runners, there will be plenty with their own stories of overcoming great adversity and defying the odds.

These runners represent a wide range of charitable causes raising huge amounts of money in the process.

So come October 20 and 21, if you’re not taking part already, get down and line the route in Southsea and show them your support.

And keep an eye out for Maya, who deserves a big cheer!