JO PAVEY savoured her record-breaking return to the Morrisons Great South Run
Pavey set a new world over-40 best with her second-placed finish around the streets of Portsmouth and Southsea yesterday.
At the age I’m at it’s great to be up there with the leading runners.’Jo Pavey
And the 42-year-old also registered a new 10 mile personal best as she finished second to Vivian Cheruiyot in 52min 44sec.
The mother of two stated she is pleased to be battling it out at the front end in the latter stages of her running career.
Pavey said: ‘I was really pleased.
‘Vivian is world champion so it was always going to be tough to beat her. But I’m thrilled to come second.
‘I’ve had quite a year and I’m pleased to be up there and competitive.
‘Vivian is an awesome athlete. When she put in that surge it was quite tough and sudden.
‘She ran really hard but we kept pushing away.
‘At the age I’m at it’s great to be up there with the leading runners.’
Pavey remains one of the most popular figures to ever take part in the Great South Run after wins in 2006 and 2012.
And there is mutual appreciation from the European champion towards Portsmouth and the event.
Pavey said: ‘The atmosphere out there was amazing.
‘The people of Portsmouth really get behind it.
‘The course is great and the weather was great. I really enjoyed it out there.
‘I was really grateful and appreciative of that backing.
‘I love the course. It’s fast and flat with beautiful scenery.
‘I love this race and it’s a beautiful place to run.’
Meanwhile, Gemma Steel told of the pain she suffered as she finished fourth.
The European cross-country champion clocked 53.06 as her hunt for a Great South Run title continues.
Steel said: ‘It was a case of battling it out.
‘My legs went at eight miles so I was hanging on.
‘I fell off the group and it was a case of staying strong and toughing it out.
‘We kept up with Vivian and it was good to be running alongside her.
‘She is capable of doing times like she did when she took it easy over the first few miles.
‘I felt great and enjoyed it up to eight miles.
‘But you can never tell when you are going to go through a bad patch – and that is what happened.
‘It happens but I’ll keep chipping away at it though and try to get that win.’