Let’s listen to what Paula says and get out running

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The Great South Run is one of the jewels in the crown of Portsmouth’s annual calendar.

It attracts tens of thousands of runners, who come from all over the country to pound the streets of our great city and take in its fantastic sights.

It’s something we should all be incredibly proud of.

So to report, as we do today, that athletics superstar Paula Radcliffe has been in town only goes to emphasise its importance.

Paula was here as part of her role with Great Runs nationwide with the aim of getting more women to take part.

Currently at 45 per cent, the aim is to get it to an even 50/50 with the men.

And in the process, of course, get more women out pounding the pavements, running and getting fit.

We can only hope that Paula’s message gets across.

She’s an inspiration to all of us – someone who rose to the top and stayed at a world-beating level for years.

The more people she encourages to take up running, even if they don’t make the start line of the Great South Run, the better.

We live in a perfect city for running, because it’s largely flat.

And it’s a sport that’s very easy to get started in – a good pair of trainers is really all you need.

So if you’re thinking about starting running, then we say just go for it.

And if you make it to the Great South Run, we guarantee it will be a day that you’ll never forget.

The crowds that line the route make it a real experience.

We’ll see if the message gets across when we get the breakdown of runners in this year’s race.