OLYMPIAN Lizzy Yarnold and a man from Reading who has taken part in every Great South Run (GSR) have helped to launch this year's event.

The highly-decorated skeleton racer was joined by Mick Cornwall, who has been on the starting line every year since 1990.

Sponsored by Simplyhealth, this year's event will take place on October 20, with the organisers hoping to make the 30th anniversary one to remember.

Mr Cornwall said: “The GSR means a lot to me. After doing the first three or four, I thought I would keep doing them so I could be an everpresent, along with another Newbury Athletics Club club runner Mick Gallagher.

“Sadly, Mick became ill and passed away. He did complete 20 GSRs. That is another reason why I keep doing the 10 miles, because it reminds me of Mick, who also wanted to be an everpresent.

“For someone who has never run the GSR, they should come along and run it, because the atmosphere is great and i i’s a nice day out for all the family. There is plenty to see and do after the race as well.”

The race has grown from humble beginnings, with only 2,000 runners taking part in 1990.

That figure has risen to more than 20,000 people, with the annual event taking in part of the historic Portsmouth dockyard.

Philippa Brock, communications director at The Great Run Company, added: “This is a very exciting year.

" Not only are we celebrating a huge milestone, but we are also looking back at 30 years of running memories for thousands of runners who have been part of the story."

Entries for the GSR are now open. Visit: Greatrun.org/South to take part.