THE RACE is on as the Great South Run has officially been launched for 2017.
In its 27th year in Portsmouth, the race attracts 20,000 runners from all walks of life, whether they are participating as part of a competitive edge or if they are looking to raise money for a worthy cause.
Ran along the seafront, the 10-mile race got off to a flying start at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.
This year, members of the Royal Marines Running Club are hoping to raise vital funds for the SeaMore Appeal, to help move the Royal Marines Museum in Eastney to the Dockyard, where it would be based alongside the likes of HMS Victory.
The move will cost £2m and their aim is have 100 runners taking part in the 2017 event.
Adam Stokes, a royal marine corporal based in Taunton, believes it is vital that the museum moves.
We are keen to have close strength ties with the navyAdam Stokes
Adam said: ‘Now that Afghanistan is over, we have started moving back towards the navy side again.
‘Being at the Dockyard and the history is important to us.
‘We are keen to have close strength ties with the navy, who we work with on a day-to-day basis and want to reinforce them.
‘The Dockyard is a great facility, in a nice area and it is an ideal place.’
GB athlete Andy Vernon, from Fareham, is still in pursuit of winning his first Great South Run.
He finished second last year and is gunning to go one better this time.
Andy said: ‘It is important for people to have a goal to work towards. We might not always want to but everyone should get out and do exercise - even walking is enough at the start.
‘If I was to win the race, it would be equal winning some of the medals I have won.’
Simplyhealth are the new sponsors of this year’s race. Sarah Ford, director of communication says the company got involved because of the community feel that goes with the race.
She said: ‘I think it is one of the most supported events around. The people you see around the course keeping everyone going are amazing.’
Councillor David Fuller, the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, set the race off last year.
He said: ‘It helps put Portsmouth on the map and it is also about how much money individual people are raising.’