Report By: Steve Yeoman
Race Date: Sunday 1st March 2020
Taking part in my first Half marathon event as a Strider, the day began with a lovely walk along the cold but sunny (and very empty streets) of London towards Tower Bridge, and a very well organised and marshalled Start area. The atmosphere and excitement levels from everyone around me was infectious, and although it was freezing cold standing around in the start pens for almost an hour, it wasn’t long before it was time for B wave to make its way towards the start line. Apologies to everyone who was standing near me whilst I was trying to put the foil blanket over me in the wind…. never used one before so it was flapping about uncontrollably at first!
The course, as advertised, was extremely flat and fast, and after doing almost all of my training runs over the winter up and around Ringinglow and Dore, it made a nice change to get the first few miles in the bag without feeling out of breath. As the bunch of runners thinned out towards Canary Wharf, this was the first chance to see the real speedy runners on their way back towards Tower Bridge, running at a pace that I couldn’t even dream of doing!
The route then crossed back over Tower Bridge, where the crowds and noise levels were the best of the whole race, before finishing with a sprint finish right outside the Cutty Sark.
There were issues with the baggage trucks being delayed and not sorting out the bags into any sort of order, which meant that over 3,000 runners were stood in the cold for over an hour whilst the poor volunteers were trying their best to rummage through a mountain of plastic bags to try and find their rightful owners!
However, I was extremely pleased to knock almost 8 minutes off my PB from last October (on an equally flat and fast course in Manchester)…. only half an hour behind the winner Kenenisa Bekele, and finish in 1438th place.
Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele won in a new record time of 1:00:22 and first woman was Lily PARTRIDGE (Aldershot Farnham & District) in 1:10:50.
There were nearly 16000 finishers, of which 6 were Striders.
Link to full results here.