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Kenenisa Bekele breaks Mo Farah's course record at the Vitality Big Half

Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele broke Mo Farah's course record in the men's Vitality Big Half race in London with a time of one hour and 22 seconds.

Bekele shaved 1:18 minutes off the record set in 2019 by Briton Farah, who missed out with an Achilles injury.

Britain's Lily Partridge won the elite women's race for the first time with a time of 1:10:50.

Two-time marathon winner Shelly Woods made a successful return to the capital in the women's wheelchair race.

Brent Lakatos won the men's wheelchair event with six-time Paralympic champion David Weir in second.

Britain's Christopher Thompson finished second in the men's race, with Jake Smith in third.

The full London marathon will take place on Sunday, 26 April.

Bekele's victory sets up an exciting head-to-battle with Eliud Kipchoge, as the two fastest marathon runners of all time line up for April's race.

"The new course record is a great bonus. I wasn't focused on time today, I just wanted to win," said Bekele.

"I'm on schedule in my preparation for the London Marathon in April. There's no question about the crowds in London being great.

"They were cheering all around the course and it felt like a great place to be."

Partridge - running in her third London half-marathon - cruised to victory in the women's race.

Her compatriots Samantha Harrison and Stephanie Davis finished second and third respectively.

"My coach said to me before the start that the goal was to win," said Partridge.

"It wasn't about the time today. It's my fastest ever half marathon during a marathon build-up."

 

(03/01/2020) Views: 374 ⚡AMP
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The Vitality Big Half

The Vitality Big Half

Created by London Marathon Events Ltd, in partnership with Sported,The Vitality Big Half is a community running festival, taking place in London in March. This one-day event offers a host of running distances, from a challenging half marathon to a free one-mile course, as well as a family-friendly festival of food, music and activities. What’s happening? Take part with friends...

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Cherono replaces injured Farah, to battle Bekele in London Half Marathon

Chicago Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono has been drafted in to replace injured Mo Farah and battle Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele in the March 1 Vitality London Half Marathon.

Cherono, one of the world's most successful marathon runners, will take on Bekele as part of his training ahead of his title defense on the streets in Boston in April.

Cherono, who has been selected to represent Kenya at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, is the reigning champion of both the Boston and Chicago Marathons and has an incredible record of eight wins in 11 races over the 42km distance.

"I am really looking forward to going to London to run in such a high-quality race. I'm thankful for the opportunity. It is exactly the test I was looking for as I prepare for the Boston Marathon and I am sure it will be a great race," Cherono said on Wednesday.

The London Half Marathon, which starts close to London's iconic Tower Bridge, will offer Cherono a stern test gauging his fitness against Bekele, he is to fight at the Tokyo Olympic games later in August.

Bekele is the current world record holder for 5000m and 10000m and the second-fastest marathon runner in history having clocked 2:01:41 in winning Berlin race in 2019.

Both men will use the London Half Marathon as crucial preparation for upcoming marathons.

Bekele is working towards a mouth-watering match-up between himself and marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge on April 26 while Cherono will defend his Boston Marathon title six days earlier on April 20.

As well as Cherono and Bekele, the reigning Rotterdam Marathon champion Marius Kipserem from Kenya and a host of leading British athletes including Chris Thompson, Dewi Griffiths and Ross Millington will race in this year's event.

Mo Farah withdrew from this year's race due to injury and is still in Kenya to continue with his training.

(02/22/2020) Views: 331 ⚡AMP
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The Vitality Big Half

The Vitality Big Half

Created by London Marathon Events Ltd, in partnership with Sported,The Vitality Big Half is a community running festival, taking place in London in March. This one-day event offers a host of running distances, from a challenging half marathon to a free one-mile course, as well as a family-friendly festival of food, music and activities. What’s happening? Take part with friends...

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Chicago Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono will replace injured Farah, to battle Bekele in London Half Marathon

Chicago Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono has been drafted in to replace injured Mo Farah and battle Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele in the March 1 Vitality London Half Marathon.

Cherono, one of the world's most successful marathon runners, will take on Bekele as part of his training ahead of his title defense on the streets in Boston in April.

Cherono, who has been selected to represent Kenya at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, is the reigning champion of both the Boston and Chicago Marathons and has an incredible record of eight wins in 11 races over the 42km distance.

"I am really looking forward to going to London to run in such a high-quality race. I'm thankful for the opportunity. It is exactly the test I was looking for as I prepare for the Boston Marathon and I am sure it will be a great race," Cherono said on Wednesday.

The London Half Marathon, which starts close to London's iconic Tower Bridge, will offer Cherono a stern test gauging his fitness against Bekele, he is to fight at the Tokyo Olympic games later in August.

Bekele is the current world record holder for 5000m and 10000m and the second-fastest marathon runner in history having clocked 2:01:41 in winning Berlin race in 2019.

Both men will use the London Half Marathon as crucial preparation for upcoming marathons.

Bekele is working towards a mouth-watering match-up between himself and marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge on April 26 while Cherono will defend his Boston Marathon title six days earlier on April 20.

As well as Cherono and Bekele, the reigning Rotterdam Marathon champion Marius Kipserem from Kenya and a host of leading British athletes including Chris Thompson, Dewi Griffiths and Ross Millington will race in this year's event.

Mo Farah withdrew from this year's race due to injury and is still in Kenya to continue with his training.

(02/12/2020) Views: 419 ⚡AMP
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The Vitality Big Half

The Vitality Big Half

Created by London Marathon Events Ltd, in partnership with Sported,The Vitality Big Half is a community running festival, taking place in London in March. This one-day event offers a host of running distances, from a challenging half marathon to a free one-mile course, as well as a family-friendly festival of food, music and activities. What’s happening? Take part with friends...

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British distance-running great Mo Farah has withdrawn from next month's Big Half race in London with an achilles injury, organizers announced on Wednesday

The four-time Olympic gold medalist, preparing for the 2020 Games in Tokyo, suffered the minor injury in training.

Farah, 36, has won the half-marathon event for the past two years and was due to take on a field featuring Ethiopia star Kenenisa Bekele on March 1.

"I was really looking forward to racing the Vitality Big Half again," said Farah in a statement issued by event organizers.

"Everyone knows how much I love racing in London, but my priority is to be fit, healthy and competitive for the summer season and for that reason I have had to make the tough decision not to race this year."

Farah will continue his Olympic preparations in Africa after changing his mind about running the marathon in Tokyo to return to the track, having won double gold over 5,000 meters and 10,000m at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Games.

He won the 2018 Chicago marathon in a European record time but could only manage a fifth-place finish at last year's London Marathon.

Eliud Kipchoge, the world record holder, is the favorite to win marathon gold in Tokyo. Farah is set to defend his 10,000m title in Japan instead.

(02/05/2020) Views: 329 ⚡AMP
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The Vitality Big Half

The Vitality Big Half

Created by London Marathon Events Ltd, in partnership with Sported,The Vitality Big Half is a community running festival, taking place in London in March. This one-day event offers a host of running distances, from a challenging half marathon to a free one-mile course, as well as a family-friendly festival of food, music and activities. What’s happening? Take part with friends...

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Mo Farah confirmed he will compete in the Vitality Big Half in London on March 1

Mo Farah will launch his 2020 season in London after confirming he will run the Vitality Big Half on March 1.

Sportsmail reported last week that Farah was in talks to run in the capital and now he has signed to face off against three-time Olympic gold medallist Kenenisa Bekele.

The race will serve as early-season preparation for the Tokyo Olympics, where Farah will run the 10,000m after turning his back on the marathon. 

He will be racing in Britain for the first time since his former coach Alberto Salazar was banned for anti-doping violations - a verdict that has brought renewed scrutiny on their relationship.

Farah said: 'I am really looking forward to coming back to The Vitality Big Half and kicking off my 2020 season. 

'Everyone knows how much I enjoy racing in London. It's my home city and it always gives me a buzz to come back and race here.'

Farah is also expected to run at the Anniversary Games at the London Stadium in July.

(01/23/2020) Views: 384 ⚡AMP
by Riath Al-Samarrai
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The Vitality Big Half

The Vitality Big Half

Created by London Marathon Events Ltd, in partnership with Sported,The Vitality Big Half is a community running festival, taking place in London in March. This one-day event offers a host of running distances, from a challenging half marathon to a free one-mile course, as well as a family-friendly festival of food, music and activities. What’s happening? Take part with friends...

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Mo Farah retained the Vitality Big Half title as he outkicked Bashir Abdi of Belgium and Daniel Wanjiru of Kenya to take the win in a thrilling sprint finish

Farah, the 2018 Chicago Marathon champion, clocked a time of 61 minutes and 14 seconds, which proved too much for training partner Abdi and former London Marathon champion Daniel Wanjiru.

Abdi was second in 61:16 and Wanjiru third in 61:17.

Farah 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 with how my preparations are going ahead of the London Marathon in April.

"The London Marathon is still quite a long way away but I'm happy with my progress and it was nice to be able to race today."

The women's race was won by last year's champion Charlotte Purdue in 70:38, with Steph Twell second in 71:33 and Charlotte Arter third in 71:44.

(03/11/2019) Views: 909 ⚡AMP
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The Vitality Big Half

The Vitality Big Half

Created by London Marathon Events Ltd, in partnership with Sported,The Vitality Big Half is a community running festival, taking place in London in March. This one-day event offers a host of running distances, from a challenging half marathon to a free one-mile course, as well as a family-friendly festival of food, music and activities. What’s happening? Take part with friends...

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Wilson Kipsang has been training hard in Kenya and is set to battle Mo Farah and Daniel Wanjiru at the Vitality Big Half before heading to the London Marathon

Wilson Kipsang and Daniel Wanjiru will be racing Mo Farah on sunday in London at the Vitality Big Half.   

These pictures are from Wilson's long run last saturday.  He has been really focusing on The Vitality Big Half and wants to come home with the win.  And then go back to London and win the marathon in April.

Two-time London Marathon champion Wilson Kipsang and the 2017 champion Daniel Wanjiru will be facing the defending champion of the race, Mo Farah who won the race last year in 61:40 just three second ahead of Wanjiru.  Wilson did not run last year.

The athletes are using the race as part of preparations for the London Marathon in April.

Kipsang won the London Marathon in 2012 and 2014 and is also a former marathon world record-holder.

According to Wanjiru, who has been training in Kigari, Embu, it’s a perfect place for good results and he is looking forward to a good performance.

“My preparations are going on well and I will be using the race to gauge my performance ahead of the London Marathon,” said Wanjiru.

The soft-spoken athlete said that he is eyeing a podium finish, where he will be using the remaining weeks to sharpen his skills ahead of the marathon.

Asked about competing with Farah, the athlete said that he is well prepared for the battle ahead and he doesn’t fear anyone in the line-up.

Kipsang, who turns 37 March 15, is returning to London for the first time in two years and feels he has what it takes to conquer the event once more. The Kenyan set the world marathon record of 2:03:23 in 2013, before it was toppled by compatriots Dennis Kimettos in 2014 and Eliud Kipchoge last year.

"I am exctied to be running the London Marathon. After being absent for two years, I will be ready to run the streets of London again. However, I start with the half marathon in March to gauge my preparedness and see where I need to improve in training," said Kipsang.

Wilson Kipsang, a 2012 Olympics bronze medallist, wants to reclaim the London marathon in April, then go on and win the world championships in Doha in September before a final attempt at Olympic gold in Tokyo 2020.

Kipsang is using The Vitality Big Half on March 10 as a launchpad to the busy season.

"I am looking forward to the race where it will a good testing ground to the big race. I expect to race against people like Mo Farah, who will also be competing in the London marathon."

Kipsang has won the London marathon in 2012 and 2014, and set the world record in between, but he says he's hungry for another success after two years of trying to get back to form.

Farah won last year in 61:40, just three seconds ahead of Wanjiru, who finished in second place. The Vitality Big Half doubles as the British Half-Marathon Championships and will feature a number of strong British elites besides Farah.

(03/07/2019) Views: 1,290 ⚡AMP
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The Vitality Big Half

The Vitality Big Half

Created by London Marathon Events Ltd, in partnership with Sported,The Vitality Big Half is a community running festival, taking place in London in March. This one-day event offers a host of running distances, from a challenging half marathon to a free one-mile course, as well as a family-friendly festival of food, music and activities. What’s happening? Take part with friends...

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London winners Daniel Wanjiru and Wilson Kipsang will give Farah a tough race in the Vitality big half next month

The Vitality London Big Half on Sunday, March 10, which serves as a tune-up race for the Virgin Money London Marathon, is shaping up as a fine event as defending champion Sir Mo Farah takes on 2017 London Marathon champion Daniel Wanjiru and two-time London Marathon champion and former marathon world record-holder Wilson Kipsang

Farah won last year in 1:01:40, just three seconds ahead of Wanjiru, who finished in second place. The Vitality Big Half doubles as the British Half-Marathon Championships and will feature a number of strong British elites besides Farah.

All three of last year’s female podium finishers, Charlotte Purdue, Lily Partridge and Charlotte Arter are returning also. 

The women’s race sees all three of last year’s podium finishers returning. Charlotte Purdue was last year’s winner, running 1:10:29 in cold conditions, while runner-up Lily Partridge and third-placed Charlotte Arter are also back. In addition, Steph Twell will be making her debut in the event, plus Tracy Barlow, Gemma Steel and Sonia Samuels.

(02/21/2019) Views: 1,088 ⚡AMP
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The Vitality Big Half

The Vitality Big Half

Created by London Marathon Events Ltd, in partnership with Sported,The Vitality Big Half is a community running festival, taking place in London in March. This one-day event offers a host of running distances, from a challenging half marathon to a free one-mile course, as well as a family-friendly festival of food, music and activities. What’s happening? Take part with friends...

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Strong British field is set for The Vitality Big Half

Dewi Griffiths, Andy Vernon, Charlotte Purdue and Lily Patridge are among the runners joining Mo Farah in London next month.

A strong British field has bee named for The Vitality Big Half on Sunday, March 10, while two former winners of the London Marathon, Wilson Kipsang and Daniel Wanjiru, are also confirmed.

Mo Farah was previously announced for the second edition of the half marathon and among those joining him in the UK capital are Dewi Griffiths, Andy Vernon, Jonny Mellor, Charlotte Purdue, Lily Patridge and Steph Twell.

The race will once again double up as the British Half Marathon Championships and the strong domestic field should see competitive racing for the podium places.

Griffiths, who most recently ran 61:44 to finish eighth at the Chevron Houston Half Marathon last month, is among those who also have their eyes on the London Marathon in April.

Vernon and Mellor are also set to race at the London Marathon along with Irish international Mick Clohisey.

Tracy Barlow, Gemma Steel, Hayley Carruthers and Sonia Samuels are also confirmed to take part meaning the seven fastest British women over the half marathon distance in 2018 will all be toeing the start line on March 10.

Eight-time London Marathon champion David Weir leads the entries in the men’s wheelchair race while three-time Paralympic medallist Shelly Woods will be aiming for victory in the women’s wheelchair race while Derek Rae will compete in the ambulant category.

(02/09/2019) Views: 1,270 ⚡AMP
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The Vitality Big Half

The Vitality Big Half

Created by London Marathon Events Ltd, in partnership with Sported,The Vitality Big Half is a community running festival, taking place in London in March. This one-day event offers a host of running distances, from a challenging half marathon to a free one-mile course, as well as a family-friendly festival of food, music and activities. What’s happening? Take part with friends...

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Sir Mo Farah announced he will be running the Vitality Big Half as part of his training for 2019 London Marathon

Mo Farah won the first ever Vitality Big Half in 2018, crossing the line in 61 minutes 40 seconds, despite snowy conditions down to the ‘Beast from the East’.

Farah is back to defend his title in this year’s (hopefully warmer) race, a few weeks before he returns to the London Marathon, following his win at the Chicago Marathon last October.

Farah said, “The Vitality Big Half is a fantastic event and I’m really looking forward to returning this year. The crowds were amazing last time. I’m feeling stronger than ever and this race is all part of my preparation for the big one in April.

“The Vitality Big Half is doing a great job of encouraging more people to get into running. This half marathon is unique in that Londoners from all communities and backgrounds come together to get involved.

“Running is great for your physical and mental health. It’s kept me driven and has taken me from strength to strength. I would encourage everyone to get into running, be it a few miles at your local park or training for an event like this.”

The 2018 race saw more than 11,000 runners take part in the half marathon. Entries for the 2019 race have now sold out.

(01/11/2019) Views: 1,004 ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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Only seconds separated the top three in Mo Farah’s first race in six months

Callum Hawkins did most of the leading at the first London Vitality Big Half this morning, particularly from 10 miles onwards. He was clearly trying his best to pull away and take the sprint finish out of his legendary compatriot. However, Mo Farah looked comfortable and the crowds waiting at the finish alongside the Cutty Sark were treated to the customary sight of the British half-marathon record-holder sprinting to the line. It was the slowest of Farah’s 11 half-marathons, but he can take confidence from beating Wanjiru, a 2:05 marathoner who will be among his toughest opposition in a strong field back at the London Marathon on April 22. “I thought the race would be a bit faster than that,” Farah said. “It was nice to feel comfortable in myself. I know I’m in shape.” Farah winning time was 61:40, London Marathon champion Daniel Wanjiru (61:43) and Callum Hawkins (61:45) in a thrilling sprint finish. Having just spent six weeks training in Ethiopia, Mo believes he is set to perform well in London over the marathon distance next month. (03/04/2018) Views: 1,295 ⚡AMP
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