The last large organised road race I did was the Big Half, back in March of 2020. The first large organised road race I ran post Covid was the same run. It was so nice to be part of 12,000 people, running 13.1 miles from Tower Bridge to Greenwich.
From a personal point of view, whilst the day didn’t begin brilliantly (I panicked unnecessarily about getting to the bag drop on time) and ran my warm up too fast, the rest of the run went exactly to plan. First 10k at marathon pace, next 5k around half marathon pace or a little quicker, then racing in for the last 6k.
Starting the the second wave really helped, as I wasn’t getting passed by all the really quick runners, so this helped me get into a rhythm that suited what I needed to stick to. The first half of the race is tricky to keep an eye on pace. There’s a really early stretch over a KM under ground, following a shut road tunnel, then you have a very intricate windy part around the city. With either no or dodgy GPS and both sections at the start there is a tendency to push the pace more than necessary – so I was pleasantly surprised to be running much as planned.
It felt good getting to 10k (Wapping) and pushing on and again at 15 (Rotherhithe) then finally 18K for the last shove to the line. I really do enjoy a half marathon. I think it’s my favourite distance to race.
Finishing with a new PB and a well executed race I then had to cool down, which was planned 10k. Not something I’ve done before and this was a challenge. Stiff, sore legs, really painful bruised black big toes (they must have swollen a lot and banging against the fabric on the toe-box of the Alphafly’s, better to know now than on marathon day), this was harder than the half marathon itself. It took a lot of cajoling and persuading to keep going. By Waterloo I checked to see if I had run 36k for the day (22.3 miles) which I had, so happily called it quits and got on the tube home.