Vernon: I tried to wear down Chris Thompson in Great South Run

Andy Vernon. Picture: Vernon Nash
Andy Vernon. Picture: Vernon Nash

Andy Vernon admitted he tried to wear down Chris Thompson as he again fell short in his pursuit for a maiden Great South Run title. 

The Stubbington-born talent set a strong pace out in front as he looked to win the 10-mile contest from the front.

Vernon felt he was fresher than his Aldershot, Farnham & District team-mate Chris Thompson, who is currently in training for the New York Marathon next month.

But the 2014 European 10,000 metres silver medallist’s tactics proved in vain.

Thompson proved stronger than expected and went on land a hat-trick of Great South Run titles with a time of 46min 53sec.

On his Portsmouth homecoming, Vernon finished second, stopping the clock on 47.29 – a personal best. 

The 32-year-old felt he put in a decent performance but was surprised how fresh Thompson was. 

Vernon said: ‘It was a solid race from me. I ran a personal best but the weather was a lot better than it has been. 

'It was going to be faster anyway.

‘For quite a few miles I didn’t try to break Thommo but tried to wear him down as I thought he was going to tire. 

'But he ended up running a good race.  

'It was difficult. I didn’t know which way it was going to go.

‘Although I did half marathon last weekend, I thought I was the fresher.

‘Thommo has had a heavier regime. He did a big session on Tuesday, so I was thinking he was a little bit more tired.

‘But it's proven to me how strong you can get when training for a marathon. 

‘It’s given me a bit of food for thought. When I get into marathon training hopefully I can be as strong as that.’

The weekend prior, Vernon clinched glory in the Manchester Half Marathon.

But he would have swapped that success for a maiden win in his home race.

Vernon added: ‘I’ve wanted to win the Great South Run since I first did it in 2013.

‘I really want to win the Great South. I’ve now had two seconds, a third and fourth but hopefully it’ll be next year.’