The start of the Great South Run Portsmouth


Great South Run Portsmouth

The Great South Run, takes place over a 10 mile (16 kilometer) course through the streets of Portsmouth, passing landmarks such as HMS Victory and the Spinnaker Tower. The course is almost flat, with minimal slopes around the course, helping make fast times achievable.

The Great South Run will be held in Portsmouth on Sunday 21st October 2018 and the 5K race will be held on Saturday 20th October 2018.

Entry for both events is now open, follow this link, to register for the Great South Run 2018 use this link. Around 25,000 runners will take part in this highly popular run, raising £ millions for a wide range of charities.

The first event, the elite womens race starts at 10:15, the whole city will be very busy, therefore the race organisers advise you should plan to arrive by 08:30 to ensure you are able to access the start area at the correct time.

The 10 mile course is fairly flat and offers a wide range of views and historic sites along the way, such as HMS Warrior, HMS Victory and the Spinnaker Tower.

Along with the thousands of fun runners, club athletes and charity teams, will be a mix of celebrities and elite athletes from around the world.

Gemma Steel, Great South Run Portsmouth

British long distance runner Gemma Steel, who was placed 2nd in 2014, won the Ladies 2017 race in a time of 55 minutes and 25 seconds. Gemma had to fight off challenges from Lily Partridge and Charlotte Purdue in the windy last two miles along the seafront.

Commenting after the race Gemma said, "This is one of the big races, one of the flagship events and I'm really happy."

The 31 year old was edged out of the winners spot by just two seconds in the 2014 Great South Run, but she made sure of a victory this time around, finishing 12 seconds ahead of Lily Partridge.

Steel's time of 55.25 was the second-fastest time of female UK runners over the 10-mile distance this year.

Chris Thompson, 2017 Great South Run, Portsmouth

Aldershot, Farnham & District AC runner Chris Thompson won the Mens 2017 race in a time of 48 minutes and 32 seconds, just ahead of Matt Sharp and Ben Connor. Thompson becomes only the second man to win consecutive Great South Runs, lets hope he is able to return in 2018 to defend his title.

With the windy conditions in mind Thompson commented "There was no getting away from people because the conditions didn't offer enough respite that I could push and get any kind of a gap. I had to think my way around, how else can I win this?"

In 2009, Team GB favourite Mo Farah won the Great South Run in a time of 46 mins and 26 secs, the first British runner to win the race since Gary Staines secured his third win in 1996, Mo praised the Portsmouth crowd saying "The crowd made a big difference - they kept cheering me".

British ladies have also excelled with wins in previous Great South Runs, Liz McColgan (1995 & 1997), Marian Sutton (1998), Jo Pavey (2006 & 2012) and Paula Radcliffe (2008) have all taken 1st place in the race, which is classed as a Gold Label Road Race by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

But it is not all about the elite runners, every year thousands of fun runners, joggers, locals, celebrities and charity runners take part in the race, raising £millions for their chosen good causes. It is estimated that more than £35 million has been raised for charities by runners in the Great South Run, since it's start in 1990. In fact if you have not been able to secure a place, a guaranteed charity place is a good option, see links below.


Guaranteed charity place are a great way to get an entry to the Great South Run and at the same time helping to raise much needed funds for the charity. For details of charity running places please visit our Great South Run charity places page.


Parking spaces will be available on Southsea Common itself, follow the Great South Run road signs, or you could use one of the many city centre car parks follow the link for more details. Follow this link to view a map indicating the location of car parks in Portsmouth.


The roads adjacent to the start and finish on Southsea Common will be closed from 06:30am.This includes Pier Road, Clarence Esplanade and Avenue de Caen. All other roads on which the race will be run will be closed from 09:45am. Roads are re-opened as soon as possible on a rolling basis but all roads will be re-opened by 14:00. If you arrive late use the city centre car parks and walk to the race start area.
As Portsmouth is an island there are only three access roads, so there is bound to be some congestion after the race, so why not stay a little longer and visit one of the numerous pubs or restaurants in Portsmouth, after all you will have earned it.


If you are planning to stay overnight or maybe make a weekend of it there are plenty of Hotels to choose from, but book early as it is bound to be a busy period, follow this link Portsmouth Hotels for more information.


The course map below is interactive, there is information on points of interest along the route, click on the marker to see the details.