London Vitality Big Half Marathon

London Vitality Big Half Marathon

I went into this event in a very positive way. It’s the first time I had done a big race like this in my home city and running around familiar routes and areas. This excited me, plus the fact that I didn’t need to wake up at stupid o’clock to get there! With nearly 15,000 competitors and the likes of world champions running the event (Mo Farah!) I knew the atmosphere would be amazing.
My aim for this race was a nice and steady improvement on my time of 1:58 at the Milton Keynes Half a few weeks before, but didn’t feel as if I was going to attack my personal best. 1:55 was the number I was throwing around with confidence to everyone that asked “what time are you going for?”. A fellow adidas runner mentioned that he would pace me for the race. The fact that he is a lot quicker then me was daunting, but we decided to stick to the 1:45 pacer and see how we fared with him.
The run started a lot faster then my usual pace and I could definitely feel it going through the first 2km. It always takes me 2/3km to find my rhythm and really get into a run; this was no different. According to my GPS, we were doing close to 5 min km’s which did fill me with confidence as I felt comfortable…until a third of the way in!
By the time I reached 8km, I felt the effects of going a lot faster then usual! My breathing had gone out of whack and I started to fall behind the pacer. I don’t think the fact that I had pretty full bladder helped so I took the time to use the port-a-loo (which there were loads of by the way- great job guys) and caught a breath!
This is the point I felt as if I needed to turn on my music and run to my own beat away from the influence of a pacer or a team mate. This felt great to me. I didn’t feel slow, or like I was going to miss my goal, but more so, I stopped caring for a bit as I took in the amazing crowd around me at almost every turn. The Adidas runners and Run Dem Crew were definitely out in forces and every time I heard my name cheered was like an injection of energy for me.
I always find that the last few km are where I can pick up the seconds lost to fatigue earlier in the run. As soon as I saw the 20km marker, I turned it up a gear. Running past the guy that was pacing me earlier I caught him walking. I gave him a pat on the back and gave him a final bit of encouragement to get him moving again. With 500m left I put everything I had left on the course and powered to the finish line. My final time clocked in at 1:48:53 which is my personal best and a time I’m extremely happy about.
This was definitely my favourite half marathon to date. The combination of the venue being home for me, an amazing crowd and a very well run event just made this a great run. It also proved to me that sometimes you need to run your own race and do what feels comfortable for you!
Did you take part in the Vitality London Big Half? How did you find it? What was your finish time? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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  1. March 8, 2018 / 4:39 pm

    Congrats on the PB – good to see you briefly at the start as well!

    • March 9, 2018 / 10:14 am

      Cheers bro! Good to see you too. You gonna be at Landmarks Half?

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