London Landmarks Half Marathon

Race Reports

Race report by Gemma Davies

On 2nd April I took part in the first of my London races for April – the London Landmarks Half Marathon.

I had a charity place for this as had been unsuccessful in the ballot and chose to fundraise for the NSPCC.

It is organised by Tommy’s and is a big charity fundraiser for them aswell as other charities.

Race numbers and start wave info arrived a couple of weeks previously so all I had to do on the day was get to my start area at the allocated time.

I was in the sunshine wave with a start time of 10:09.

We got a tube to Piccadilly Circus and had a 15 min walk to my start area. The family left me at the toilet queue to go and find a spot to watch me enroute.

Firstly there were loads of portaloos, I queued which is expected but I still had plenty of time to get to the assembly area. Lots of baggage buses lined the street opposite the toilets but I didn’t use these. I got to the assembly area where a mass warm up was happening and made my way forward in the wave.(I wanted to get closer to the 2:10 pacer).

We ended up getting underway just after 10:15 as apparently there was a delay due to a donkey being on the course near the start! I think a real one but I never found out for sure!!

The start was on Pall Mall and the first part of the route headed towards Trafalgar Square before taking in embankment – weaving around the City of London (taking in St Paul’s Cathedral, the Gherkin, Guildhall) for miles 3-9 – Tower bridge then back along the embankment – through Blackfriars underpass aka the rave tunnel – a short out and back across Westminster bridge before coming back down embankment and taking a few turns before the finish on Whitehall near Downing Street.

The route was very loopy – probably due to street/road closures needed in the City. I got quite disorientated at times so was relieved when I turned at Tower Bridge around mile 10 and hoped it was a straight route back to the finish! It was good for spectators though as they could cut across a street or two and see their runners numerous times.

Due to the very built up areas in the City my watch was jumping all over the place and I managed to post a fake 7 min mile! From about halfway round it was well ahead of the mile markers so I had to do my own pace calculations each time I hit a mile marker.

The support on the route was fantastic, so many people were shouting my name (it was on my vest which helped!), there were loud charity cheer stations and plenty of music singing and dancing. There was never a moment when I couldn’t hear any cheering or music probably due to the nature of the route too.

I was over the moon to keep a steady consistent pace throughout and smash my current pb by 2 mins exactly, and also run it around 6 mins quicker than my ‘best’ half of 2022. A testament to marathon training and Spring races!

I would definitely recommend it as a flat, city road run! It was really enjoyable, I got some half decent race pics and a great insight into what some of the Marathon will be like in just a couple of weeks from now!

It is a ballot entry race, unless you opt to run for a charity, minimum fundraising is usually about £300-350 for a half marathon.

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