It’s love as Pavey wins on Great South Run return

Jess Coulson,left, Jo Pavey, centre, and Berhane Adrer. Picture: Steve Reid (123518-010)
Jess Coulson,left, Jo Pavey, centre, and Berhane Adrer. Picture: Steve Reid (123518-010)
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Champion Piotr Meller with duathlon organiser Rob Piggot.  Picture: Neil Marshall (170306-18)

Defending champion ready for Portsmouth Duathlon mission

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Jo Pavey continued her Bupa Great South Run love affair as she obliterated the field to take the 2012 crown.

The Great Britain star delivered a masterclass in distance running to take the 2012 title in emphatic style.

Pavey led from the outset and extended her advantage throughout to take the win in 53min 01sec on a chilly 23rd edition of Europe’s premier 10-mile race.

That made it a second Great South Run success for the 39-year-old after her victory around the streets of Portsmouth and Southsea in 2006.

Pavey spoke of her love for the event, which she believes she is made for.

The double 2012 Olympic finalist plans to return to a race she has developed a passion for.

She was delighted with her display as she produced another win to remember.

Pavey said: ‘It’s nice to be back here. I love this race.

‘For one reason or another I haven’t made it here, so it’s great to be back.

‘I’ve been here in 2006 and won this year, so maybe I’ll be 45 when I win next time in 2018!

‘I really enjoy it here and want to do it more often.

‘I was really pleased. I just set off and wanted to see what happened.

‘I set a pace and then saw how it went with the other girls.

‘It suits me here. It’s a nice and flat course.

‘I like that because I’m not too strong at hills.

‘I love the race and the crowds are amazing. It couldn’t have gone any better.’

Pavey lived up to her pre-race billing as a favourite to take the win.

But there was also a performance to remember for Stockport’s Jess Coulson as she finished second in 53.43 with Ethiopia’s Berhane Adere third (53.55) and Nadia Ejjafini fourth in the same time in a tight finale.

Gemma Steel (fifth, 53.57) and Emma Pallant (eighth, 55.26) continued the strong domestic flavour at the top end of the field.

Pavey was the dominant force, however, going out in 5.18 for the first mile and crossing two miles in 10.39. The even pace continued througout as she left the chasing pack behind.

By the third mile the advantage was 17 seconds over Steel as she clocked 15.51 for the distance.

The lead over the rest of the field grew from there as Pavey comfortably took the title.

Pavey explained she felt in great shape as she geared up for the Yokohama Marathon next month.

She said: ‘I enjoyed the race and wanted to keep plugging away.

‘I looked around but didn’t really notice what was happening until we had to turn back on ourselves at four miles.

‘I was looking around but decided to keep going because I felt okay.

‘I’m in marathon training at the moment and this was good for that. It’s good preparation for Yokohama.

‘Sometimes you feel okay and sometimes you don’t but I felt strong out there.

‘The legs are always tired when you are preparing for a marathon but it couldn’t have gone any better.’

After her previous Great South Run experience, Pavey was prepared for facing the notorious last two miles of the race along Southsea seafront.

With a south-westerly wind buffeting her, Pavey was slowed at the death.

But she explained she even enjoyed that challenge. She said: ‘The end is really tough but there is chance to make a good time if you give your all.

‘You do seem to lose time over those last couple of miles but it’s the same for everyone.

‘I tried to pick it up over the last couple of mile but I didn’t pick up speed even though the effort picked up! You know it’s tough but I gave it everything I had.

‘You keep plugging away and it’s a tough challenge.

‘The last two miles may be tough but you know it’s your final effort.

‘I enjoy it, though. I enjoy the whole race.’