Thompson toasts maiden Great South Run win

Chris Thompson, centre, claimed Great South Run glory ahead of Andy Vernon, left, and Matt Sharp Picture: Malcolm Wells
Chris Thompson, centre, claimed Great South Run glory ahead of Andy Vernon, left, and Matt Sharp Picture: Malcolm Wells
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Chris Thompson toasted maiden Great South Run glory before admitting: It was nice to turn the tables on Andy Vernon.

Thompson yesterday became the first British man to win the world’s premier 10-mile race since Mo Farah in 2009.

And after ending a seven-year wait for a homegrown winner, the 35-year-old told of his joy at reversing last weekend’s Great Birmingham Run result – where he finished as runner-up to Fareham’s Vernon.

The latter began yesterday’s race the man to beat, following his impressive Second-City showing over a half-marathon distance.

But it was Aldershot, Farnham & District team-mate Thompson who claimed victory in a time of 47min23sec – some 46 seconds ahead of Vernon.

Fellow Brit Matt Sharp was third in 48.18.

‘It meant a huge amount to win – the way I celebrated showed just as much,’ said Thompson to Channel 5.

‘You have to work extremely hard for this and to come to a result like that in front of all of the people was a great buzz for me.

‘It makes all of the hard training in the dark and cold worthwhile.

‘This will keep me going for a good few months now.

‘Andy beat me last weekend so it was nice to turn the tables on him and grab the bragging rights.

‘Now, though, I am going to rest up!’

Far from rubbing friendly rival Vernon’s nose in it, Thompson praised the battling nature of the race between two committed and ‘honest’ runners.

He said: ‘Road racing is one of those funny ones – people can get a reputation for sitting in and being rather irritating by just staying behind you.

‘So for me it’s nice to be racing with Andy – he is a bit like me.

‘We both like to run with honour, we go side by side and there is no playing games.

‘It was really enjoyable in that sense to run in the race and get the win – Andy is a good sparring partner.’

Thompson, who is no stranger to the Great South Run having come fourth in 2011, overcame a hectic schedule to claim victory – with his girlfriend’s comments that he was ‘looking tired’ in the build-up a testament to his achievement.

He added: ‘I have done the Great North Run, Scottish Run and Birmingham Run in the space of five weeks.

‘Last Thursday my girlfriend looked at me and said: “You look tired”.

‘I said: “Thanks, that’s just what I needed to hear a couple of days before a big race!”

‘But then yesterday on the start line I just felt like there may be something left in my legs.

‘And it turned out there was.

‘I didn’t anticipate leading the field – last weekend was where I thought that might happen.

‘It worked out the other way around and I have come away with it.’

City of Portsmouth’s Alex Teuten added to the list of impressive homegrown performances with a seventh-placed finish.

The 24-year-old looked strong throughout, registering a time of 49.22.