It looks I was the only ERC runner at the inaugural London Landmarks Half Marathon on Mar-25. I thought I would write down some impressions in case anyone thinks of running it in the future.
This is the first half marathon in central London. I understand that the organisers want to make it an annual event and already started pre-registering people for the next year.
How to get in:
The process for this year race included pre-registration on the website. The total race capacity was 10,000 and I think the organisers gave half of this places through online registration on first-come first-served basis. All these places went very quickly. I did not have any problems registering, but I understand there were quite a few people who got the message “you reserved your place – now you have 15 minutes to complete the checkout” and then the site crashing. The rest of the places were charity ones. As I understand the race was heavily oversubscribed – maybe they will change the approach next year.
The course is clearly the race trump card, which is reflected in the name. Starting at Pall Mall, finishing at Downing Street it passes more or less all central London landmarks including St Paul’s, Tower, Trafalgar Square and also crosses the river twice. So if you are after sightseeing – this is probably as good as it can be.
The word of caution though – this is not an ideal PB course. It’s not very hilly (total of 65 metres of elevation gain on my Garmin), but rather twisty. I counted no less than 13 180-degrees turns and there were plenty of curves besides. I suspect this gave me at least 90 seconds of extra time. Some people complained of extra distance on their watches/phones, but my Garmin distance was nearly precise in the end. Not so during the race – because of tall building and tunnels you cannot really rely on watch GPS splits.
On course support:
Top marks for that. A lot of people cheering not only near start/finish, but throughout the course. Multiple bands and organised cheering groups along the course. Really pleasant experience.
A special thank you to Rick whose cheering for me and Edmonton RC near St Paul’s was very timely!
I would say that generally this was a well organised race with plenty of volunteers and no chock-points. I came well in advance, but considering the social media reaction it seems the runners were mostly happy with the organisation. The start was in waves and I heard a couple of complaints that the previous wave did not clear before the next one started. Regular water stations with bottled water and Lucozade.
Pre-race communication and social media activity was top notch.
A very nice high-quality race T-shirt. An interesting medal. Free post-race photos in good quality (this is very unusual in our age).