Great South Run 2017

“Alarm set. Forecast checked and route map studied. Bags packed and trainers ready. Cakes baked and supplies packed. A plan devised. It’s race day!

But not as we know it! On Sunday, a group of the finest OS Runners were out defying the after effects of Storm Brian by taking part in Europe’s largest 10 mile road race, the Great South Run. A few of us decided that the best way to spend our Sunday was to get out and support our running friends as they ran and raced around windy Portsmouth! And what fun we had!

The atmosphere at the big races is electric: crowds of people, live music and drums, full road closures and the chance of appearing on TV! A mile away from our training runs on the quiet lanes around OSHQ. Nicole had the race day app set up and loaded with the names we wanted to track and look out for. I fell into my usual role of map reader and navigator and we were off! There were multiple start waves, multiple locations and multiple people we wanted to cheer on so it was a juggle deciding where to go and how long to stay. Sorry if we missed you!

We got into position just before the elite guys sped past. I ignored South coast rivalries and happily shouted “Cmon Southampton!” to my first claim club friends before scanning the crowds for the OS tops. Fortunately, they’re pretty distinctive so it wasn’t long before the shouts of “Go OS!” went up too. We then split up, divide and conquer trying to catch as many people as possible. I jogged over towards the finish, as Mark headed out the opposite way. In the flow of runners, I spotted another OS vest! Luc? Dave? Tim? No idea but we cheered them on!

There are times when having no hair is a real benefit #StormBrian

Keith Spiers and Matt Pillinger both pulled off some well-paced running, with very consistent 5km splits for the distance. 10 milers are a difficult race to judge, being in a sweet spot between speed endurance (think 5km/10km) and endurance distances (half marathon plus). Matt lead the OS Runners home in a time of 1:06:09 and a great 90s PB, well deserved for the dedicated training he puts in.

Keith – 4 1/2 miles in, nearly half-way there

Matt with 250m to go

MP – ‘I’ve definitely PB’d Rob’,

RF – ‘go faster’

MP – ‘unprintable’

Karen Connell was a bit disappointed to narrowly miss out on a top 100 women’s position but finished in the mathematically beautiful: 123rd women and 1234th overall! Mark & son Tim, the Tabor team were out and Mark showed his class and experience by beating him by 6 minutes!

Look out Karen, the Cookie Monster (Carlo Van Leeuwen) is behind you

After eventually coordinating meeting up with some of the finishers and the other supporters (one of the hardest things to do at a big race), we headed back onto the course to cheer on Emily Aston (Mark’s wife). She’d had only two weeks of training after winning a place in the race last minute! A great effort of determination! We all then headed off for some post racing refuelling and catch up!

Emily ‘no training’ Aston

Everyone had a great day at the Great South. The supporting crew almost enjoyed it as much as the runners, a day out definitely to be recommended!


There were several other OSR’s who also ran, full results for OSR and F&F (alphabetical order) below;

If we didn’t see you on the run/afterwards – apologies, we didn’t know everyone who was running under OS colours.  If you did run and aren’t included above – my apologies, just let me know and I can add you in.

Business Challenge

The Great South Run have a business challenge competition, for employers of different sizes and you can enter a M, F or Mixed Team.   We entered a Mixed Team in the Large Employer category and I am delighted to say came second in the category, with a team time of 5:16, just 2 minutes behind the winners.