Sunday 24 March 2019

Fly Girls at The Vitality Big Half London Marathon

Fly Girls Weather the Storm

BBC Clip on The Big Half Vitality Run

Two weeks ago on Sunday 10th March a few of our team were anxious as for most it was their first ever half marathon. Fly Girls Running Community are a beginners running group that meets on Sunday mornings for a run around Wembley Stadium, ten signed up to do the 13.5mile run as a group and others separately for alternative distance runs scheduled for the day. The motivation for our team to do this was the knowledge that your peers were with you on the route, regardless of the distance you were from each other during the race. Having entered the 5km and 10km races locally and London wide the next progressive step was to try this race out, but by no means was anyone under pressure to enter.

On the day more than half of the Fly Girl entrants were able to actually run, unfortunately, we missed some of the team due to injuries and poor health. The weather with severe warnings that day didn't stop the ladies in their tracks journeying into the heart of London for 8 am meeting and checking in. The stormy weather however altered the festival plans of live music bands and performances at the festival at the finish line. At our various waves, we were off around 9am meanwhile we saw Sir Mo Farah coming back as we approached the start line.

Some of the team started with the 12-week training plan but many didn't manage the time to put the training in and those on the plan were unable to stick to it, yet despite this Fly Girls turned up to do their best, support each other, they were in it to win it for themselves and to inspire others to do this in the future. Great motivational music like the Rocky anthem boosted us at the start line, however, we ran smart and paced ourselves with the pacemakers, this strategy included power walking all the way for some of us.

The running route was scenic, having many of London major roads shut off for the participant runners. We sighted views of The River Thames, Canary Wharf Skyscrapers and many more along with acoustic sounds of steel pan bands and DJs on their sets. The music, the sights, and the sweets that were given out were an aid to make you stop and dance, stop and take a shot of a building and to stop and chomp on some jelly babies. What did make it quite tough was the Storm Gareth blowing against our direction and moving us sideways. In addition to the weather, the terrain was a challenge, we trodded on the frequent roads of cobbled ground in the city, where normally on Sundays we run on smoother concrete. 

The Big Half was a community run in many respects, teams of running groups entered together, many ran for special causes, and the general atmosphere was friendly amongst different groups. Local communities of Tower Hamlets, Lewisham, Southwark and Greenwich residents were out of their homes cheering the runners on along with the amazing volunteers and staff making this event possible and atmospheric.

On that stormy day, we made it, all of us crossed the finish line, two weeks later, at today's run, we are all feeling fine! Beginner runners can if #flygirlscan

"Knowing there were other fly girls running definitely kept me going" Priti Khatri

"I'm doing this to be active and being part of a group has motivated me, I would never have thought that I could complete a half marathon" Leena `Khatri

We are thankful to New balance for sponsorship.

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