British 10,000m gold medallist Jo Pavey set to don trainers and compete at Richmond Running Festival

Britain’s European 10,000m gold medallist Jo Pavey is set to be the star attraction when she lines up at the Richmond Running Festival tomorrow.

Pavey, 40, whose stellar year has also included winning bronze at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, will be running in the Kew Gardens 10km race alongside 2,000 others.

And following a year where she has been competing at the highest level, the British athlete is looking forward to the prospect of racing amongst the masses.

“It is really nice to run with other runners in such a fantastic event,” she said.

“When you are racing in a stadium, all of the pressure is on lap times. Here, the atmosphere is lovely.”

Much has been made of the mum-of-two’s phenomenal success at a time in her career when most athletes may have considered major honours beyond them – having celebrated her 41st birthday today.

“I find it quite amusing really,” smiled Pavey.

“I didn’t necessarily expect it to happen as it has – when I am 40, with two children.

“I would say it’s the season I am most pleased with as I have managed to get that elusive gold medal at a major championship.”

But Pavey’s appearance will not be the festival’s sole highlight. Around 4,000 runners will be competing in the half marathon while around 1,200 children will take part in the Nike Kids’ Mile events.

There will also be junior wheelchair races for competitors aged between 11and 17.

Event Director Tom Bedford explained that the festival has really taken off.

“Last year, we started something very special that has enabled us to expand and target more of our Olympic Legacy aims,” he said.

And when speaking of record-breaking Pavey’s excitement ahead of the event, Mr Bedford added: “After the year that she has had, that is very humble!”

Sunday’s festivities will be officially opened by Team GB Paralympic hero David Weir CBE, and Australia’s Michael Shelley, who won Commonwealth marathon gold in July.

Image courtesy of BT Sport via YouTube, with thanks

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