Event Review | The Vitality Big Half | Racecheck

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The Vitality Big Half - cover image

The Vitality Big Half

  1 March 2020
profile-avatar-thumbnail Kyla Whitefoot wrote:
gold-star gold-star gold-star gold-star half-gold-star 4.3

Being a mass participation event on closed roads in London, this isn’t cheap to enter, but for the experience it’s worth doing at least once. The emails and social media posts in the lead up are excellent preparation and although it can seem annoying having to wait in your start wave in the cold for a while before your start time, it works well logistically. Tip: don’t join the first toilet queue you come to, or the second, third or fourth. There’s much shorter queues the nearer to the start you get. 

The course is essentially a section of the main marathon route and is a mixture of iconic London landmarks, some quirky backstreets and some less interesting roads. Expect your GPS to misbehave a bit in the tunnel and around Canary Wharf!

The marshals and aid station volunteers were encouraging throughout. There’s far too much plastic still goes to waste at this event, but it was good to see most runners emptying their bottles before discarding them in the many large bins instead of dumping them on the ground. 

My gripe with this race is what happens after the finish line. Runners spend more than half an hour shuffling in the freezing cold to gain access to the baggage lorries in the park - thankfully the forecast storm didn’t cause havoc like last year’s winds did, which caused the festival to be cancelled. Unfortunately the popularity of the festival meant more people were around and getting onto public transport also took an age in the freezing cold...grumpy rant over!

London looks great in the sunshine and today showed it at its best. A big medal and a technical t-shirt, and recovery food and drink were handed out generously at the finish. Having run this race twice I don’t now if I’ll be back again, but I enjoyed it more this year in better weather. 

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