19th October 2019


Eilish McColgan (coach: Liz Nuttall; club: Dundee Hawkhill) and Chris Thompson (self; Aldershot, Farnham & District) will look to defend their Great South Run titles on the south coast this Sunday (20 October).

On her 10-mile debut last season, McColgan produced a composed run and took the title by over 30-seconds from Steph Twell and the Scot will return as the favourite to take the title once more and become the first woman since course record holder Sonia O’Sullivan (IRL) in 2003 to win back-to-back titles.

McColgan arrives in Portsmouth off the back of a 10th place finish at the IAAF World Championships in the women’s 5000m, where she set a personal best mark of 14:46.17.

Long-distance specialist Aly Dixon (self; Sunderland Strollers), who broke the women’s 50km world record at the IAU 50km World Championships on her British debut in the event in Brasov, Romania, will hope to be in the mix for the title, with Jenny Nesbitt (Chris Jones; Cardiff), runner-up in last weekend’s Cross Challenge meet, making her debut over the 10-mile course.

Calli Thackery (Nigel Brookes; Rotherham) was the first British woman home at the Great Scottish Run, will also hope to be in and around the top echelons, while 2017 champion Gemma Steel (Liz Nuttall; Charnwood) is the fastest on paper with a 52:42 PB set at this meeting back in 2014.

Last year, Thompson became the first man in the event’s history to claim three successive titles when he cut the tape in 46:56, a personal best over ten miles for the AFD athlete and will look to become the first man to claim four titles at the event.

He is tied on three titles alongside Gary Staines and will become the outright leader in terms of titles should he come away with the win on Sunday, but will have a strong field to try and get the better of.

British 10,000m champion Ben Connor (Derby) will look to provide some strong competition following his outing at the IAAF World Championships, with Andy Vernon (self-coached; AFD), who was runner-up to Thompson in last year’s race, hoping to take the victory as he returns to action for the first time in almost five months.

European U23 10,000m bronze medallist from Gävle in July, Emile Cairess (Philip Townsend; Leeds City) will have one eye on the British Under-23 10-mile record of 47:50, set by Petros Surafel (Mick Woods; Thames Valley) on this course last year, while Marc Scott (Jerry Schumacher; Richmond & Zetland), winner of Cardiff’s Cross Challenge meet, could pose a challenge.

The race will be live on Channel 5 from 10am on Sunday morning.