Charlotte Purdue won the Vitality Big Half women’s race for a third time, while rising star Jake Smith took gold in the men’s race.
The 13.1-mile closed-road event, which begins by Tower Bridge and finishes at Cutty Sark, saw around 12,000 participants take part, with runners setting off in waves.
Originally scheduled for 25 April 2021, the event was part of the return of mass-participation running events following the pandemic. It attracted big crowds with runners being cheered on by roaring spectators on London’s streets once more.
Purdue was racing for the first time since February 2020 due to injury. The 30-year-old ran alongside fellow GB athlete Samantha Harrison in the early stages of the race, with the pair breaking away from the field early on in the race. But around mile seven, Purdue pulled away to finish in 69mins 51secs.
'It was my first race in 17 months because I’ve been injured and had a few issues, so to get the win is more than I could have asked for,' Purdue said afterwards. 'Samantha took off really hard, so I hung back a bit at the start and I’m glad I did because I felt quite tired by the end!
'I love running in London. The crowds are great and it felt like everyone was so happy to be on the streets supporting us. It feels like the excitement is building for the Virgin Money London Marathon in six weeks.'
Harrison finished the race in second, clocking a time of 70mins 40secs, followed by Natasha Cockram who finished third in 72mins 46secs.
In the men’s race, Jake Smith ran 62mins 6secs to take home the win, after breaking away at around the nine-mile marker.
The 23-year-old is already the third-fastest British man of all time over the half-marathon distance.
It’s Smith's second win this year after winning the Cheshire Elite Marathon in a time of 2mins 11secs back in April.
He said after the race: 'It’s incredible to be back on the streets of London. Over Tower Bridge I couldn’t hear myself breathe as the crowds were so loud, which was amazing.'
Jack Rowe came second in the men’s elite field in a time of 62mins 11secs, while Mohamud Aadan came third in 62mins 28secs.
Kolek and Emerson take wheelchair gold
In the wheelchair races, Sam Kolek enjoyed victory in the men’s race, finishing in a time of 50mins 37secs, to win by six minutes. He was followed by Michael McCabe, who clocked 56mins 41secs, and Matthew Clarke, who finished in 58mins.
In the women’s race, Nikki Emerson took home the win in 67mins 38secs. She was followed by Martyna Snopek in 76min 05secs and Claudia Burrough who finished third in 78mins 51secs.
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