By Clinton: 1h33min
The Big Half was exactly one week ago, and my legs have just about recovered. I can at least walk down stairs again without my thighs cramping up! I was actually convinced the Big Half would be cancelled due to the weather, the beast from the east had caused chaos and snow as well as cancellation of other events (such as the Bristol Half). Luckily, the snow had pretty much cleared before we took to the start line – it was a chilly and bright day. Perfect for running fast!
The race itself was really great – our club the Greenwich tritons had at least 40 people doing the race and we saw people we knew every few minutes leading up to the start. They were also added bonus during the run as we recognised club members racing past or managing to catch them.
The route started from London Bridge, looped around the north side of the thames for 6miles before crossing and winding to Greenwich park for the finish. There was one slightly depressing mile completely underground but otherwise the course was pan flat and almost exactly like the London marathon. People lined the streets and support generally was excellent. At the finish there was along walk to the event village where there were stalls, food, a stage – it was too cold to hang about so we fled to the nearest pub. Still managed to catch up with some runners from Hampstead Heath Parkrun and Highgate harriers before we left.
I was happy with my time, but not happy with my pacing. I went out at 4min/km pace, held this for nearly 10 km, then slowly time started adding up. This is reflected in my runpix stats- I passed 774 runners in the first half of the race, then 239 passed me back in the second half.
I finished in 1h33min which is a really great improvement compared to my times last year when I was running 1h45min and thinking I was doing great. I’m really happy with what a year of running and triathlon training has done for me. I’ll credit a good portion of this to the Greenwich Tritons and their structured run training sessions!
Mo Farah took the win and from re-watching the footage it looked as if he was just jogging. I will try and copy his form in my next half marathon (London Landmarks Half Marathon :D). Wish me luck!
By Jess: 1h39min
Last Sunday morning was cold, the kind of cold that made me want to ignore the early weekend alarm and roll over. But it was also the morning of the Big Half so I had to get up. I didn’t feel too nervous about the race though. As I had been ill the week leading up to the race, I didn’t feel like I was in any shape to get a PB or to run fast, so I just planned to go out and have a bit of fun. Due to the bad weather and snow (and the cold) I’ve been resting the whole week and by the end of the week I was itching to run outside.
The Big Half was organised by the organisers of the London Marathon and was created with the mission of demonstrating how sport and community can come together, inspiring people from all backgrounds to take part. They wanted an event that mirrors the diverse demographics of London’s multicultural population. With Sir Mo Farah taking part in the race, we knew it was going to be a big hit. The best thing about this was the price for entry since Greenwich Tritons are a local club – only £10! Because of this there was a strong contingent of Tritons out on the day – it was great having people we recognised cheering us on (and equally, it was great being able to cheer on other people we know)!
This half marathon was important for me for various reasons. It was my first race in 2018 so it was a chance for me to work out if I’ve improved from the year before. I also have a full marathon in April and a Half Ironman in May, so I really needed to use this run as a confidence builder and a strong training run.
I found the run really hard and I thought my brain was giving out more than my body. My feet were getting pins and needles… I felt like maybe my laces were too tight but I didn’t have time to stop and loosen them. For some stupid reason I’d decided to switch to triathlon-ready elastic laces right before a big race. BIG MISTAKE!
Overall, I thought the Big Half was brilliant and well organised and would definitely do it again next year. The route itself was fantastic – it used chunks of the London Marathon route to create a course from Tower Bridge to Canary Wharf and back again, then through Bermondsey, Rotherhithe and Deptford to end at the Cutty Sark. Travelling to the race for us was super easy because we live so close to Greenwich, and meant that we were just that much closer to home for a post-race nap!