THE Purbrook Ladies 5 race is on Sunday with two City of Portsmouth athletes among the leading contenders.
It’s always a fantastic occasion and the event is organised by Portsmouth Joggers with two new directors for this year.
They have been hosting training nights in the build-up and both have good experience of the five-mile course.
Rachel Thomas ran in 2017 and did well, finishing fifth.
Naouele McHugh made the podium last year with a third-place finish. She explained the new directors were very pleased to be taking on the race.
She said: ‘I have done this race four times, the first time back in 2009, so it was time to give something back to the club by organising an event.
‘It will be a pleasure to hand the Barbara Marsh Trophy to the first Portsmouth Jogger through the finish.
‘The training nights have been a success with ladies, men and dogs attending.
‘As an event, this race is all inclusive. It attracts speedy club runners, such as City of Portsmouth’s Emma Jolley and Emma Montiel, to ladies running their longest run to date.
‘When we took on the race, we wanted to find out how long it had been going.
‘A fellow Portsmouth Jogger, James Daly, who works as the D-Day collections researcher in Portsmouth, found out that the first Purbrook six-mile road race was held in 1984.
‘It was interesting to find it was originally a six-mile race held in November.’
City of Portsmouth athletes are likely to be among the leading contenders.
Emma Jolley has been in superb form this year with good performances in the Hampshire Road Race League and so many fast parkrun times.
Her club-mate Emma Montiel is a former winner of the race with a great record including competing at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Southampton’s Sarah Kingston is set to be another strong contender for the victory.
Host club Portsmouth Joggers have 62 entries for the race, along with the team of volunteers helping on the day.
There will also be a big presence from Stubbington Green Runners with 57 entries.
Fareham Crusaders will be out in force, while Gosport Road Runners, Baffins Fitclub, Victory, Emsworth Joggers and Hatch Warren will also be well represented.
The race starts at 10am and was sold out within a month of the entries opening, highlighting its popularity.