In only its second year, The London Landmarks Half is already so popular that places are balloted. But that was no barrier to 5 lucky Roadrunners as Bridget Keyte, Giorgio Marinelli, Caroline Curliss, Andrew Tapsell and Emma Ford secured their places to line up on Pall Mall alongside 10000 other runners on Sunday morning.
Taking in some huge landmarks along the way this route certainly lives upto it’s name. Nelsons Column, St.Pauls Cathedral, The Gherkin, The Tower, The Shard, The London Eye and Big Ben… and that’s not considering all the little quirky ones too! Passing the houses of Guy Fawkes, Dick Whittington and Shakespeare, Harry Potter’s Bank, The real Bank of London, (with its 400,000 gold bars in the cellar), Britain’s smallest Police Station, the Monument to the Great Fire of London and an 11 foot grasshopper to name just a few, our quintet didn’t know where to look as they make there way around the 13.1 mile course
From Pall Mall our fab five made their way through Trafalgar Square and past the Oscar Wilde memorial on The Strand before doing a little tour around Aldwych passing Australia House, (more commonly recognised as Gringotts Bank from Harry Potter) before behaving themselves as they passed the Royal Courts of Justice before taking a u turn back down The Strand with The Shard reaching up into the clouds on South Bank. A quick nip over Waterloo Bridge in both directions then guided our runners East along the leafy Embankment before winding their way past St.Pauls, up Cheapside and on toward the halfway point at Holborn Viaduct.
Onward they went, turning onto Fleet Street and then onto Chancery Lane and then High Holborn, back down Cheapside passing the famous “Bow Bells”. They swung a left to pass the 7000 seater Roman Amphitheatre and looping around the Bank of England to emerge on Threadneedle Street passing the giant grasshopper on top of the Royal Exchange. Onward to Monument, the site of the origin of the Great Fire of London. A little wiggle on and around Cannon Street before passing Dick Whittington’s house and continuing on past Billingsgate before doing a u turn in front of the iconic Tower of London and Tower Bridge. 10 miles in by now, that was the turn for home. 5k of embankment in front of them. The London Eye getting closer with every footstep.
With Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in sight on the South Bank, they passed Blackfriars Pier, Kings College and Cleopatras Needle to the turn at Westminster Pier and of course arguably the most famous landmark of them all – Big Ben. Past Whitehall Palace, for the last blast down Whitehall sprinting past Horse Guards and over the finishline outside Downing Street, with some rather fabulous medal givers.
Andrew “Tappers” Tapsell was the first road runner home, having run it with some work colleagues for charity Children with Cancer.
“The last couple of miles hurt” he quips “I won’t be running any more halves for a while!”
Giorgio was next home in just over 2 hours. A phenomenal achievement considering he broke his foot only a few weeks ago.
“Boooom” he messaged me soon after “not a bad comeback!”
Bridget and Caroline were next having run the whole race together, seemingly smiling their whole way around
“I loved that” said Bridget “It was a tad warm, but the support on the course was great. It was a twisty, turny Route, but it was really enjoyable. Brilliantly organised and great fun”
Only a minute or so later Emma made it to Downing Street having accompanied her daughter Lily all the way on her first ever Half Marathon.
“She ran the whole way… I’m so damn proud of her” Emma said later on Facebook
Sounds like great fun was had by all…. ballots open already for 2020
Andrew Tapsell – 1.55.35
Giorgio Marinelli- 2.00.20
Caroline Curliss – 2.26.40
Bridget Keyte – 2.26.40
Emma Ford – 2.28.08