BUPA Great South Run: Beats ‘t’North’

BUPA Great South Run, the 10-mile smaller sister of Newcastle’s Great North Run, is officially our favourite UK run to date and one we would return to.

The race is held in the waterfront city of Portsmouth on the UK’s south coast and takes runners through its historic naval dockyard, old Portsmouth and Southsea, where it finishes along the seafront.

From Portsmouth Harbour train and ferry terminal it was an enjoyable 2-mile walk through Old Porstmouth and along the seafront to the starting area on Clarence Esplanade.

The starting area was full of supporters and had a fun party atmosphere. Make sure you bring your windbreaker though as it was particularly breezy along the esplanade whilst waiting to start!

There were three start waves, orange (with the Elite up front), green then white. Dano started in the orange wave and Ro the white. There were a couple of mass workouts held whilst waiting to start in the pens which was great to get the limbs warmed up.

Crossing the start line there were plenty of supporters as well as much support and encouragement from spectators along the entire route which was great to see.

The first two miles went west along the esplanade to the naval dockyard where a few naval bods on a docked ship saluted runners. After the dockyard the course took us through residential streets where there was a 3-mile loop along the grandiosely-named Winston Churchill Avenue.

From mile 5 the course headed back in the direction of the seafront and ran parallel to it for three miles with a large common separating runners from the seafront. If you looked across the common you could see runners miles ahead of you heading towards the home straight.

Finally, the last 2 miles along the seafront started as we turned the corner around the top of the common. Here the wind off the sea hit your left side but it was welcome by this stage. Thanks to the volunteers handing out the jelly babies along here because they were much needed!

As for celebrity spotting, Dano spotted Hugh Dennis and Iwan Thomas, finishing a couple of minutes after the latter. Ro managed to catch up to Chris Chittell of Emmerdale fame but, admittedly, only due to his injury and spurred him on when passing him on the home stretch. Hard luck Chris!

Dan finished with a fantastic time of 1:15 and Ro, a leisurely 1:48. See you next year GSR!


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