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Team GB star determined to beat Great South Run wind
HAMPSHIRE runner Chris Thompson hopes to erase the memory of his embarrassing Bupa Great South Run debut – by beating the wind.
The 10k star went beetroot red when he first ran the ten- mile course in 2009 – after eating the vegetable beforehand.
“I discovered why beetroot can be used as a laxative, it was quite a messy ending!” he laughs.
“It was so red a lot of people thought I was bleeding but, when people realised what had actually happened, it was quite embarrassing!”
The Aldershot man still finished in 49:10 and managed 48:07 when he ran the Portsmouth course a second time two years ago.
“2011 was a bit better, but you have to use your brain on this course and I’ll be using my knowledge from the last two experiences,” he said.
Despite being a very flat course, the fiercely strong winds during the two-mile home straight along Southsea’s seafront make it challenging for runners of all abilities.
“That’s what makes the Great South Run so unique, when people on the circuit talk about it they always mention the wind during those final two miles,” continued Thompson, who is based in Oregon, USA.
“I’ve run ten miles in 46 minutes during a half marathon but 48:07 is my official PB and I’ve run quicker than that in training sessions, which shows how tough this course is.
“When my coach, Mark Rowland, first warned me about the wind I said ‘yeah, yeah, it can’t be that bad’ but it knocked my socks off!
“You can tell how windy the conditions have been during previous races by the times of past winners.
“But that’s what makes it so appealing – you want to come back and beat it.”
A record field of more than 25,000 will have to deal with some very strong winds, even by Bupa Great South Run standards, if the weather forecast proves accurate.
Thompson, the 2010 European 10,000m silver medallist continued: “You can treat ten miles like a 10k to a certain extent – and a 10k is a sprint.
“But if you go out too hard on this course your race can fall apart because of those last two miles, which are two of the toughest I’ve ever raced.
“It’s going to play on mind a bit but I won’t be as naive as before!”
Thompson finished second in last weekend’s Birmingham half marathon, which was won by Ugandan star Thomas Ayeko, who is among the favourites tomorrow, alongside last year’s winner, Stephen Mokoka.
South African Mokoka finished second behind Thompson’s Team GB teammate Mo Farah in 46:26 in 2009, before winning in 46:40 last year.
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