Sir Mo Farah blew away some world class opposition to retain his title in the Vitality Big Half yesterday (10 March). Despite adverse conditions on a windy day in the capital, Sir Mo lifted the spirits of the huge crowd with a trademark sprint at the Cutty Sark finish and last year’s champion, Charlotte Purdue, made it a double defence for trophy holders in the women's race.
Farah's 61:14 time and fearsome finishing kick augurs well for his preparations for the Virgin Money London Marathon next month. After being pushed hard by his regular training partner Bashir Abdi (Belgium, 61:16) and former London Marathon champion Daniel Wanjiru (Kenya, 61:17) the new British half marathon champion said: “The conditions weren’t great today so I’m pleased to win, although it would have been nice to run a bit faster and really test myself. I’m happy with the win and how my preparations are going ahead of the London Marathon”.
Behind the top three, Dewi Griffiths (Swansea, 63:17) and Chris Thompson (Aldershot, 63:41) claimed the scalp of former world marathon record holder Wilson Kipsang (Kenya, 64:07) to pocket silver and bronze medals in the British championships.
In the elite women’s race, Charlotte Purdue (70:38) came from a long way behind to overhaul Aldershot clubmate Steph Twell (71:33) and Charlotte Arter (Cardiff, 71:44) to retain her British title. "It’s brilliant to get the win,” Purdue said. “The weather was really windy so I knew it wasn’t going to be a really quick day. Some of the athletes went off really quick but I knew they’d come back to me because the conditions didn’t indicate really fast times – so I followed my own race plan and it paid off."
David Weir (51:12) fine tuned his form as he targets his 20th London Marathon with victory in the men’s wheelchair race, despite being injured in a car crash in January. Margriet van den Broek (Netherlands, 63:41) took the women’s wheelchair race.
A full programme of events at London's community half marathon included Vitality Little Half and Vitality Big Mile races and The Vitality Big Festival, with free live music, fun and cultural events designed to showcase the rich diversity of the capital.
Full results via runABC South race listing here
Image courtesy Vitality Big Half