Sunday 25th September brought the UK’S best half marathon for two years running (excuse the pun) to the streets of Ealing. Having run the Great North Run myself, I was sceptical to this claim but the stats speak for themselves:
‘In just three years we are delighted to have achieved the following awards:
Number One Half Marathon in the UK – The Running Awards 2015
Number One Half Marathon in the UK – The Running Awards 2014
Number One for Atmosphere 2013 – Runner’s World
In the top 10 Half Marathon’s 2012 – Runner’s World’
(Ealing Half Marathon Website, 2016)
While I would argue that the atmosphere was not as bustling as that of the Great North Run, I couldn’t deny that there was a wonderful feeling around Ealing. So much so that I was envious not to have signed up for the run.
One of the most inspiring things about the run, much like the Prudential Ride 100 was the vast range of participants of all shapes, sizes and ages. I, being generally fit and having adopted a recent enthusiasm for long distance running, found myself repeatedly remarking; ‘If they can do it, I could have rolled out of bed and done it!’ I was gutted not to have been involved.
The Athlete’s Village in Llamas Park in Ealing was the location of the finish line, a welcome sight for the runners. Some hobbled, some ran comfortably over the final timing sensor but the true heroes were those who put on a show for the crowds who had gathered along the home stretch. The 50+ers who gave sprint finishes and final battles were cheered home by us, the spectators hoping for a fall or at least a vomit to end the race!
Llamas Park was a din of amateur runners waffling about personal bests, personal struggles and personal injuries. The endorphins had kicked in – as had the impending post physical activity verbal diarrhoea. Thankfully it was only verbal diarrhoea we encountered (No Paula Radcliffes here).