Plenty of fond Great South run memories for Jo Pavey

Jo Pavey started the 5k race last year. ''Picture: Paul Jacobs
Jo Pavey started the 5k race last year. ''Picture: Paul Jacobs

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The happy memories have been flooding back for two-time Great South Run winner Jo Pavey ahead of next month’s race.

The 42-year-old mother-of-two has enjoyed great success in the world’s leading 10-mile run and is one of a select band of runners who have recorded a brace of victories in the elite women’s section of the Great South Run.

‘There are not many opportunities to race over ten miles and, as I say, the Great South Run is the only ten miler in the world to have that IAAF Gold Label status. That’s how highly thought of the race is by the world of athletics, and by the athletes.’

Jo Pavey

The Exeter Harrier prevailed in 2006 and 2012 and a third success on October 25 would put her ahead of fellow two-time winners Sonia O’Sullivan, Liz McColgan-Nuttall, Restitute Joseph and Iulia Negura as the greatest female runner in the 26-year history of the event.

Pavey has been looking back at her different Great South Run experiences over the years.

She said: ‘I’ve got very fond memories of competing in the race. I’ve been lucky enough to win it twice.

‘I’ve also got fond memories of having been given the very great honour of starting the race. And I have very fond memories of running in the Mini Great South Run with my little boy, Jacob, a couple of years ago.

‘It’s just a brilliant weekend to be involved in. I really enjoy the fact that the whole weekend is a festival of running.

‘It’s great to be coming back this year to compete in the main race. It’s a really exciting opportunity to run on such a fantastic, flat 10- mile course.

‘It’s the only 10-miler in the world to have achieved the International Association of Athletics Federations Gold Label status.

‘It attracts really top athletes and the people of Portsmouth always make it a great atmosphere.’

Pavey has two young children – Jacob, 6, and Emily, 2 – but that hasn’t stopped the 10,000m runner from competing at the top level.

‘I just feel so lucky to still be doing the sport and making race plans,’ said Pavey, whose thoughts of possible retirement last year were put on hold after her medal-winning successes at the Commonwealth Games and European Championships last year.

‘It’s really exciting to be road racing this autumn. I ran the two miles in the Great North City Games on Tyneside and everyone else was talking about it being the end of their season. I felt like I was just starting and I’m really excited to be taking part in big road races like the Great South Run.

‘I really do like the Great South Run – the fact it’s a nice distance for me and a fast, flat course. It’s always a competitive race and the atmosphere is brilliant.

‘There are not many opportunities to race over ten miles and, as I say, the Great South Run is the only ten miler in the world to have that IAAF Gold Label status. That’s how highly thought of the race is by the world of athletics, and by the athletes.

‘It’s also inspiring to run in a race with so many people running for such important charities. I just love the race.’

HOW TO SIGN UP

To sign up to the 10-mile Great South Run on October 25, click here

To enter the 5k run, go to

To enter the junior or mini races, go to