Star Aims to Rub out Bad Memory; Run Victory Is Pavey's Target

Article excerpt

DETERMINED Jo Pavey is hoping this year's Bupa Great North Run will help ease the memory of a painful baptism in the world of road running.

A distressed Pavey struggled across the finish line at Marsden two years ago in fourth place and needing urgent medical treatment.

"It was a completely new thing and I went in at the deep end," she recalled. "It went pear-shaped, and 800m from the line, I wondered whether I would get there."

Now making the transformation from the track to road-running, the 35-year-old Commonwealth 5,000m silver medallist will take an important step in the changeover when competing tomorrow.

Pavey, who has set her sights on winning the Olympic marathon in 2012, has already proved herself as a road runner with vast potential.

She has two victories in the Bupa Great Manchester Run, although those were achieved over the shorter 10,000m distance.

And despite her eagerness to extend her career, she faces an awesome task tomorrow.

Among the overseas competitors over the Newcastle to South Shields course are Ethiopia's Gete Wami and former Great North Run champion Benita Johnson of Australia.

Hayley Haining, who narrowly missed out on Olympic selection when Paula Radcliffe decided she was fit enough to compete in Beijing, will be in action in the 52,000- strong field.

Pavey was disappointing at the recent Beijing Games, where she placed 12th in the 10,000 metres final, and now feels the time is right to extend her career with a switch of discipline. …