Running through the rain, Jo Pavey en route to victory at the Great South Run (Mark Shearman) © Copyright
General News Portsmouth, England

Pavey bounces back with Great South Run victory

Jo Pavey again proved she has the ability to progress from a world class track athlete into an equally successful road runner.

Pavey outclassed her rivals in dreadful weather conditions today to become the first British winner of the BUPA Great South Run for eight years.

The 33-year-old produced a dominant display over 10 miles in Portsmouth, moving to fifth position on the UK All-comers list with a time of 52:46.

The Commonwealth 5000 metres silver medallist savoured the victory - and the fact she finished the race feeling physically well after her problems at the Great North Run earlier this month.

Then, the Exeter Harrier collapsed with a high blood sugar problem after finishing fourth against world class opposition.

There were no scares today - with the high winds and constant downpour the biggest obstacles for Pavey and the other contestants.

Pavey won by more than a minute from Serbia's Olivera Jevtic (53:53) and Kenya's Catherine Mutwa (54:16).

She had planned an assault on Jill Hunter's 16-year-old British record of 51:14, but quickly realised it would be a hopeless task in the conditions.

She explained: “I was aware of what mile splits I wanted to do, so I was disappointed not to run a quicker time.

“So I just concentrated on keeping relaxed and judging my pace. I wanted to run quicker but the weather was so tough it was exhausting me.”

She sensibly latched on to four male club athletes for company in the lengthy trek and admitted: “They really helped me out - I'm so grateful.

“We were told the wind might be behind us on the sea front but it turned again.

“To be honest the weather was too tough. But apart from that, I really enjoyed it. There was a great atmosphere and it's a lovely course.”

Arusei over Brown in men’s race

Jon Brown, continuing his preparations for December's Fukuoka Marathon, lost out by just two seconds on becoming the first British male winner of the race since Gary Staines' a decade ago.

Brown was beaten in a thrilling finish by Kenya's pre-race favourite Simon Arusei, who clocked 47:17, and Spain's former European 10,000m champion Chema Martinez.

Martinez powered through in the closing stages to catch Brown and mount a threat to the African winner of the race.

And Brown explained: “If he'd joined me a bit earlier I think we would have pushed it and caught Arusei.”

Brown who lost the runner-up slot by a second, added: “The first two miles were very tough and the wind at the seven-and-half mile point to the finish caused problems.

“But it shows things are going in the right direction and I'm improving every week.

“The Great North Run brought me on a lot and I think this will bring me on even more. I felt very controlled doing it.”

David Martin (Press Association) for the IAAF