The Ealing Half Marathon has been one of our favourite races since it’s inception four years ago. It was one of the first major “new” half marathons in London; it was exciting, it was important, it was different.
We’d lived in London for almost a decade when the first race took place. Of course we knew of Ealing, maybe nipped through once or twice. We even spent most of our youth watching old Ealing comedies. But we didn’t really know much about it. Sometimes you go and do a race at an event that’s designed solely for the purpose of the run, places where it’s all about the course or the elevation.
Ealing is different. Unlike so many other events that are popping up, it has a real heart, a real sense that people care about it. The organisers promote it with the hashtag #EalingFeeling, which, under the guise of a soulless corporation may just be another crappy attempt at social sharing. But it actually works quite well here. It seems honest. There is actually an “Ealing feeling”.
But why do we like it so much? Well, we mentioned that we knew very little about the area before taking part in the first race. For us there’s no better way to explore somewhere knew than running a race around it. Our first time in Paris was running the marathon, the same goes for Madrid and Amsterdam. What better way could there be at experiencing somewhere new than being cheered around it by the residents lining the streets.
And Ealing is a race made for supporters. The twisting turning route that makes its way through the various residential areas and parks are full of proud Ealing supporters. The route winds back and forth allowing the crowds to get multiple glimpses at the runners as they make their way to the end.
As courses go it’s not an easy one. If you’re a runner that wants a flat, clear route from finish to end you’re unlikely to get a PB. But for people like us, people who like the ups and downs, the changing scenery and the uncertainty of where the next turn is, Ealing is perfect.
As London half marathon’s go it’s well worth a putting into the planning for your 2016 race calendar. We’ll inevitably be there again. From the friendly race marshals to the perfect planning and the well designed medals, there’s no surprise it’s won numerous awards.
Entries are now open on the website costing £38 (£36 for affiliated runners).
Picture credits: SussexSportPhotography.com (click to find your photos)