'˜All eyes are on Portsmouth' ahead of Great South Run says event organiser

THE eyes of the world are once again on Portsmouth as it prepares to stage the '˜world's greatest' 10-mile race.

Friday, 21st October 2016, 1:56 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 3:36 pm

So says the boss of this weekend’s eagerly-anticipated Great South Run.

David Hart spoke at a press conference with some of the world’s best runners who are ready to make a statement at the seafront spectacle – including multiple Olympic and world champion Tirunesh Dibaba.

Twenty-five thousand runners have signed up to compete in the mini, junior, 5k and 10-miles event, the youngest of which being three and the oldest being 92.

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And around £3m is expected to be raised for good causes.

Speaking to The News on board HMS Victory, where the conference was held in the spirit of Trafalgar Day, Mr Hart said: ‘This is the world’s leading 10-mile event and it has tremendous spectator support.

‘The eyes of the world are on Portsmouth, which is amazing for the city, and all eyes will be on Tirunesh Dibaba who is making her debut at the run.

‘It’s incredible because she is a three-time Olympic champion and a nine-time world champion.

‘It’s fantastic that the Great South Run features the world’s best runners – but it’s also about the people.

‘The people like Tony Male, who will be raising £25,000 this Sunday. Everyone takes part for different reasons, some of the different stories are absolutely fantastic.’

Royal Marines are preparing to compete in a team looking to raise money to help the Royal Marines Museum move to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

A total of £2.5m is still needed to make the project a reality.

A public consultation is still being carried out into whether the iconic Yomper statue in Eastney should join the new museum.

Team member Royal Marines corporal Adam Stokes, who is making his Great South Run debut, said: ‘This would help to bring more footfall to the museum, and show off even more the history of the corp.

‘There are a lot of great things at Eastney, but bringing the museum here will get more people through the door.

‘Competing in this race is important, and I’m very much looking forward to being a part of it.’