In just four years the Big Half has become established as one of the best half marathons on the calendar. That’s despite the fact that the first two editions of the race, held in early spring, were beset by bad weather: 2018’s Beast from the East meant the race was almost cancelled and in 2019 high winds troubled runners, especially those in fancy dress.
The third edition had a better time of it, being one of the few half marathons to go ahead in 2020. However, the fourth was moved to autumn 2021 after COVID-19 restrictions meant its regular spring date was untenable, and the organisers are playing it safe in 2022 by once again moving the event to the autumn.
Here’s what you need to know about the Big Half 2022.
When is the Big Half 2022?
The race is on Sunday 4th September. This autumn date will hopefully mean the event avoids the storms and frigid weather that beset the March editions of the race. It also falls in line with the London Marathon, which has been moved to the autumn in 2022 as well, so you can use The Big Half as a warm-up event.
How do I enter the Big Half 2022?
Places have not gone on sale for the 2022 event yet, but you can register your interest (opens in new tab) on the website and you’ll be alerted when they are available. Owing to the popularity of the race, spots in the Big Half sell out very quickly when they are released
How much does the Big Half cost?
The prices for 2022 have not been confirmed, but in 2021 the general entry price was £46. That was reduced to £36 for residents of the London boroughs of Greenwich, Lewisham, Southwark and Tower Hamlets, and you can expect a similar discount for locals tackling the 2022 race.
- The Best UK Half Marathons For 2022: When And How To Bag A Place
- Half Marathon Training: Plans, Tips, Advice And More
- Half Marathon Tips To Help You Train And Run A Better Race
What’s the course like?
We’ve run all four editions of the Big Half and an uncharitable person might describe the course as most of the worst bits of the London Marathon, with long stretches in Canary Wharf and Lewisham that provide little in the way of visual distraction from the hard work your legs are putting in. However, you also get two of the best bits of the London Marathon, crossing Tower Bridge just after the 11km mark and finishing by the Cutty Sark.
The race starts just north of Tower Bridge as runners head east towards Canary Wharf, turning at the 5km mark to come back towards the bridge. Once you’re across the Thames you turn left towards Greenwich and mostly follow the curves of the Thames down to the finish line. The course is flat and fast, but there are a couple of tough stretches.
After just a couple of kilometres you hit the Limehouse Link tunnel, where you head underground for about a kilometre and a half. There are no cheering spectators here, which is a little eerie, and the long downhill into the tunnel is matched by a long uphill out of it. Neither incline is especially steep but either can mess up your pacing, especially if your GPS signal goes haywire in the tunnel. Be careful not to overdo it on the downhill.
Then, when you’re getting close to the finish line, you hit a long straight at around 18km. In the haze of the final 5K of a tough race, this straight felt draining and almost uphill to us. The only advice we can offer is to keep your head down and power on to the finish line.
Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.
Sign up for workout ideas, training advice, the latest gear and more.
Thank you for signing up to Coach. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.