Sir Mo Farah returned to fantastic form by winning The Big Half 2022, while Eilish McColgan continued her sensational summer by smashing the course record to win the elite women’s race.
Meanwhile, David Weir also broke the men’s wheelchair course record on route to victory, while Eden Rainbow-Cooper equalled the course record as winner of the women’s wheelchair race.
Sir Mo was in the leading pack from the beginning before surging away at around the 49-minute mark, coming home at 61:49 and becoming the first man to triumph three times on the course. “It’s nice to make history,” Farah said. “I love London and I love coming back out here. There was massive support.”
Today’s victory bodes well for Farah’s imminent return to the full marathon distance at the TCS London Marathon on Sunday 2 October: “I’m really looking forward to it – it’s going to be a great race, no matter what happens.”
Last year’s runner-up Jack Rowe came in second again, in 62:04, while 2021 victor Jake Smith was third in 62:10.
In the elite women’s race McColgan led from the start – topping an incredible season during which she ran seven races in 30 days, picking up four medals in the process, including 10,000m gold at the Commonwealth Games. Her time of 67:35 smashes last year’s winner Charlotte Purdue’s course record of 69:51.
McColgan said: “It was a tough effort after a long season – my best is 66:26 but’s that’s on the most perfect flat course. So to run 67:35 today and break the course record, I can’t ask for any more than that.”
Purdue had been looking for her fourth win in the event, but had to settle for second place in 70:15, while previous two-time runner-up Samantha Harrison was third this year in 70:22.
Ten years since he won four gold medals at London 2012, David Weir put the disappointment of his Commonwealth Games puncture behind him, winning the men’s elite wheelchair race and setting a new course record of 47:18.
Weir said: “That felt good – nice to be back on the roads after the Commonwealth Games. I was so surprised how good London’s roads were, which is good for the marathon in a few weeks’ time.”
He was followed by Danny Sidbury in 47:20, while Johnboy Smith didn’t quite match his Commonwealth gold success, coming in third in 50:35.
Elite women wheelchair favourite Eden Rainbow-Cooper was also in fine form – equalling the great Manuela Schär’s course record of 56:39 and taking the win: “It feels really, really awesome! Course record wasn’t on my mind today – I just wanted to come out and see how far I could go. So I’m very excited and happy to have equalled it.”
Rainbow-Cooper was followed by Claudia Burrough – who went one better this year after coming third in 2021 – in 70:54, while last year’s runner-up Martyna Snopek took third place in 78:38.