- The Big Half on Sunday 3 September is a trial race for the World Athletics Road Running Championships Half Marathon
- Sir Mo Farah joined by Marc Scott, Andy Butchart and Jonny Mellor in elite men’s race
- Samantha Harrison and Calli Thackery head up women’s field
The cream of Britain’s distance runners will take on The Big Half on Sunday 3 September with places in the World Athletics Road Running Championships Half Marathon up for grabs.
Marc Scott, Andy Butchart and Jonny Mellor are among the leading names in the men’s field who will join the already-confirmed Sir Mo Farah in what promises to be a mouth-watering domestic battle on the streets of London.
Not only are there up to three spots available for the Great Britain team heading to Riga, Latvia, for the World Athletics Road Running Championships on Sunday 1 October, but the race will also be Farah’s last ever competitive race in the capital city before retirement.
The elite women’s race is headlined by Samantha Harrison, the first British finisher at the 2023 TCS London Marathon who is enjoying a wonderful 2023, setting PBs over the 10K (30:51), half marathon (67:17) and marathon (2:25:59) distances.
Harrison will be looking to convert her previous second (2020 and 2021) and third place (2022) finishes at The Big Half into a first-ever win at the event. She will be joined on the Start Line by Calli Thackery, Steph Twell and 2020 champion Lily Partridge.
The first three finishers in the elite men’s and women’s races at The Big Half will earn selection for the World Athletics Road Running Championships Half Marathon provided they have the qualifying times which are 62:30 for men and 71:30 for women.
Currently, Mellor is the only athlete in the elite men’s race with the qualifying time. The Liverpool Harrier ran 62:06, a personal best for the half marathon distance, in Wilmslow in March. Two women currently have the qualifying time: Harrison (67:17) and Thackery (69:01) who both ran PBs in the Berlin Half Marathon in April.
The Big Half will be shown live on the BBC and on The Big Half Facebook page on Sunday 3 September from 08:10 to 10:30.
Spencer Barden, Head of Elite Athletes at The Big Half, said: “The elite races at The Big Half this year promise to be extremely competitive. Not only have we got Sir Mo Farah running his last ever race in London before retirement but we have got the prize of places in the World Athletics Road Running Championships Half Marathon on the line which will make the domestic battle even more hotly contested.”
The elite men’s field also includes Jack Rowe, the two-time runner-up at The Big Half, and Phil Sesemann who ran a PB of 2:10:23 at the TCS London Marathon in April.
Other notable names in the elite women’s field include two sub 2:30 marathon runners: Rose Harvey and Clara Evans.
The Big Half will also again host a men and women’s elite wheelchair race. Paralympic hero David Weir will race The Big Half for the fourth time. He set a new course record of 47:18 last year and will look to be the first wheelchair athlete to win The Big Half three times after claiming victory in 2019 and 2022.
Also returning to defend her title is Eden Rainbow-Cooper who finally took the win at last year’s The Big Half after finishing third (2019) and second (2020) on her two previous appearances. The Commonwealth Games silver medallist will face a tough test if she is to retain her title, however, as Scottish Paralympic star Samantha Kinghorn will make her debut at The Big Half.
Kinghorn, who won gold medals the 2017 World Championships in London over 100m and 200m, is racing the half marathon distance for just the second time after making her debut in last year’s Great North Run which she won in 51:26.
Behind the elite races, more than 16,000 participants are expected to take part in The Big Half, London’s community half marathon, which also includes The Big Mile, a family-friendly one-mile event, and the New Balance Big Relay in which teams of four complete 5K each of the half marathon route. The event is a celebration of the diversity of London and the communities of the four boroughs the route passes through: Tower Hamlets, Southwark, Lewisham and Greenwich.
The race starts close to Tower Bridge and finishes beside the historic Cutty Sark in Greenwich.
To apply for media accreditation for The Big Half please email email@example.com. Media accreditation will close at midnight on Friday 18 August.