For Immediate Release
Portsmouth 26th May
PAVEY AIMING TO THWART YOUNGER BRITS IN BUPA GREAT SOUTH RUN
Veteran Olympian Jo Pavey will be aiming to regain her Bupa Great South Run title on Sunday against a field including former World Half Marathon champion Berhane Adere and a pack of hungry younger British rivals.
Pavey returns to the 10 miles race in Portsmouth which she won in 2006 and heralded the beginning of her road running career with her confidence sky high after two superb Olympic Games performances where she was leading European finisher in both the 5,000m and 10,000m finals.
The evergreen 39-year-old faces another major test after her fifth finish in last month's Bupa Great Run. Running there with legs that were still weary after her London exploits was a commendable display.
Pavey now in full training for the fast approaching Yokohama Marathon on November 18, revealed she may again have tired limbs having stepped up her endurance preparations for the high profile Japanese race.
"I've been concentrating my training for Yokohama and it's been progressing very well," said Pavey preferring to stay at home in Devon rather than go to a traditional warm weather camp abroad.
"Not going abroad before the Olympic Games worked very well for me and Gavin (her husband and coach) felt it would be the way ahead before my autumn marathon."
Pavey despite her veteran status has every intention of making a fifth successive Olympic Games appearance and is already planning the path towards the trip to Rio de Janeiro in four years time.
"That is what are intentions are but you never know what's around the corner such as injuries and illness," she added. "But younger athletes can suffer just as well.
"I know I'm there to be shot at by my fellow Britons and this is a good thing. But it is also very important to maintain my position as a World class runner and that's my strategy in the next few years."
Team GB Olympians Julia Bleasdale who was a position behind Pavey in both their races in the Olympic Park and Claire Hallissey who competed in the marathon will be aiming to exploit any tiredness arising from Pavey's pre-Yokohama preparations.
But the most likely candidate to cause an upset will be Gemma Steel who in the last 18 months has emerged as the likeliest successor to Paula Radcliffe, Mara Yamauchi and Pavey when eventually stepping up to marathon distance.
Steel 26, has beaten all three World class stars in her rise to the top flight. Although finishing two positions behind Pavey in the GNR she then went on to achieve a highly positive seventh place at the World Half Marathon Championships three weeks ago.
Having set her personal 10 miles best of 53:44 at the 2010 Bupa Great South Run she is clearly in shape to go much faster and may possess the form to better the time of 52:46 which Pavey achieved in her success six years ago.
It promises to be an exciting domestic battle but the British runners will be advised to keep a close eye on the overseas visitors led by Adere plus Alessandr Aguilar and Nadia Ejjafini.
The men's race sees Olympic Games medallists Tariku Bekele and Abel Kirui lead the overseas visitors and the two favourites face a predominantly overseas field including former European Cross Country silver medallist Ayad Lamdassem of Spain
Ireland's Alistair Cragg who ran one of the best races of his career when placing third around the Portsmouth course 12 months ago returns while leading the British challenge will be USA-based Andrew Lemoncello.