Four Arena ladies go big in London.

The London Big Half Marathon
Four of our Arena ladies went to London to see if the pavements were paved with gold and indeed for one of them it was.
HRH wasn’t around for breakfast but really our girls wouldn’t have had time to indulge with her as there was something much more exciting going on. This of course was the very first Big London Half Marathon which also had Sir Mo Farah participating so our girls were in some very good company.
This is set to be an annual event as a pre marathon warm up for the London marathon which happens just a few weeks later and it’s hoped will bring some of the finest athletes together to take it on.
On the day it self, weather-wise was actually not a bad day considering we had some of the worst snow since 2013 to contend with but you wouldn’t really have known this as a thaw had come in to sweep it all away. Temperature was fine about 6/7 degrees and unlike Brighton/Worthing there was not that stiff wind that hits you off the sea. It was all set to be a momentous first LBHM.
From all accounts though, the LBHM didn’t really live up to its hype. The so called flat race was in parts somewhat fairly undulating, with many long tunnels and cobbled roads. Many of the runners took to running on the pavements to help prevent getting painful knees and feet along with prevention of actually rolling a foot. The tunnels were so long that one of our Arena ladies, Katie Wright, actually lost her GPS signal on her watch which then scuppered her for the rest of the race so went running blind (watch-wise).
There was not much in the way of massive crowds cheering you along the way, unlike the Brighton Half. There seemed to be a few small pockets of people here and there with a lot of silences for a long time until you maybe came across some a few more people. There were a couple of ladies choirs along the course and there was also a man seen in a chair smoking a ciggy trying his best to enthuse the runners. Apart from Tower Bridge that was about it in the way of sight-seeing whilst running and it felt like you were running through housing estates just for the sake of making up the miles to the 13.1.
However not to dumb it totally down, the finishing part of it was faultless, with the bag collection as slick as it comes. At the start of the race when everybody was in their starting pens, they played the runners top 10 as voted for by the participants of the race (I think queen was the number one choice). The watering holes were also very well organised so really I think it’s a race that will grow although this had 11.5k finishers so really not a bad first race.
This is only the first one so there is no doubt that this will build over the next few years to become a firm favourite as a build-up race for the London Marathon for now though it seems there is room for improvement.
Back to our Arena ladies; the four ladies racing were Dani Tarleton, Katherine O’Hara, Katie Wright and Nicky Yeates. It was truly a brilliant day for our ladies with Dani Tarleton taking 1st place in her age category – 1.28.19, Katherine O’Hara taking 7th place in her age category – 1.28.55, Nicky Yeates taking 4th place in her age category – 1.40.39 which was anew PB for Nicky and Katie wright (despite her watch problem and also being laid up or four days last week ill came in a very respectable 150th for her age group – 1.38.12.
With Dani Tarleton’s result, she had 750 other women behind her in her age group and another 5.5k behind her in the race numbers itself which really shows how well she did.
Overall in the women’s category, Dani Tarleton was 60th lady, Katherine O’Hara coming in as 65th lady, Katie Wright got 209th lady with Nicky Yeates as 287th lady which is a tremendous effort from all of our ladies.
Just an interesting stat to end with, of the entire male and females that finished, the split was exactly 50/50 percent.
For those that like stats, the LBHM do a brilliant final analysis after the race as part of your results.
Here are Katherine’s after race results just to give you indication and idea of how well our ladies actually did.
Entire field 781st with 10723 finishers behind her putting her in the top 7% ahead of the field.
Gender Woman 65th with 5651 finishers behind her putting her in the top 1% ahead of the field.
Division women 40-44 7th with 927 finishers behind her putting her in the top 1% ahead of the field.
Over the first half of the race she passed 75 runners and in the 2nd half she passed 47 runners. Katherine was also ahead of about 88% of men runners.
When Mo Farah finished Katherine was at Rotherhithe Mile 9 so only just behind him.
Brilliant stats to look at after the race and my thanks to Katherine for providing these for the use of this post.
So onwards to the Brighton Marathon in April then.