29 Oct

Jo Paves The Way Home

Jo Pavey leading at the Great South Run 2012

25,000 participants and tens of thousands of enthusiastic spectators ignored cold and damp conditions to create a memorable occasion for the Great South Run 2012. The premier UK 10 mile event saw elite performers, club runners, charity participants and race first-timers gather at Southsea Common.

Jo Pavey dominated the women's race finishing in 53:01, 42 seconds ahead of Jess Coulson. The 39 year old who continues to entertain Olympic ambitions now heads to Japan and the Yokohama marathon on 18 November. Pavey was in high spirits post-race saying that the flat course had suited her although she had found the last two miles tough as she tried to up the pace.

The men's race was something of a 'cat and mouse' affair which eventually saw Stephen Mokoka (South Africa), Ayad Landessam (Spain) and Tariku Bekele (Ethiopia) break away to contest a tight finish. Landassam hit the front with 400m remaining but he couldn't shake off the South African who reined him in to win in 46:40, four seconds ahead of the Spaniard with Bekele a close third. Andrew Lemoncello (47:08) was first British runner home. Mokoka is also heading east for his next race at the re-scheduled Shanghai marathon.

Meanwhile 20,000 plus recreational runners made their way around the flat course passing landmarks such as HMS Victory and the Spinnaker Tower before a bracing finishing along the esplanade. The only sour note on the day was dissatisfaction with Channel 5 coverage and its limited focus on mainstream runners.