Thompson claims back-to-back GSR victories

Chris Thompson celebrates his victory in the Great South Run. Picture: Duncan Shepherd

Chris Thompson defended his Great South Run title with victory around the streets of Portsmouth and Southsea today.

And the Aldershot, Farnham and District ace was joined on the winner’s podium by Gemma Steel (55 minutes, 25 seconds), who claimed the win in the woman’s race.

Thompson, who won in a time of 48.32, is the first man to win back-to-back Great South Run titles since Gary Staines back in 1994.

But he had to fight hard for his latest success, with Derby’s Ben Connor (48.36) pushing him all the way until he faded near the end.

In fact, the Derby runner was ovetaken on the line for second place by Matt Sharp (58.35), who finished third last year.

Meanhwile, former City of Portsmouth ace Alex Teuten – now running for Southampton – narrowly missed out on a top three finish when he claimed fourth in a personal-best time of 48.38.

Steel claimed a maiden win in the women’s race, making up for her second-place finish around the streets of Portsmouth and Southsea in 2014 – when she missed out on victory by two seconds.

The Charnwood ace was part of a three-woman group of Lily Partridge and Charlotte Purdue who broke away from their rivals around the six-mile mark.

Partridge led the charge until the nine miles, when Steel took the opportunity to forge ahead into a strong head win along Southsea seafront.

And there was no holding her back as she claimed victory ahead of Partridge (55.37) by 12 seconds.

Purdue, who also finished third in 2013, secured that position again with a time of 55.43.

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