- London’s number one community running festival is taking place on Sunday and will be streamed live on the BBC Red Button
- Three running distances ranging from half marathon to a mile plus the free Vitality Big Festival which includes music, food and games
The Vitality Big Half – the running festival that reflects London like no other – returns on Sunday with an exciting mixture of world-class racing, fundraising and community celebrations.
About 20,000 runners will take part in the headline event, The Vitality Big Half, the half marathon which starts at 09:00 close to Tower Bridge and finishes in front of the iconic Cutty Sark in Greenwich.
It will be screened live from 08:50 to 12:40 on the BBC Red Button and on The Vitality Big Half Facebook page.
Among those running in the elite races are some of the world’s greatest runners including:
- Kenenisa Bekele: The Ethiopian is world record holder for 5000m and 10000m and has won three Olympic gold medals and 17 World Championship gold medals
- Lawrence Cherono: The Kenyan winner of both the 2019 Boston Marathon and the 2019 Bank of America Chicago Marathon
- Lily Partridge: The British marathon champion from 2018
- David Weir: The Paralympic great who has won a record-breaking eight London Marathons
- Shelly Woods: The two-time former winner of the London Marathon wheelchair race
They will be joined by thousands of runners, including more than 6,000 from community groups across London, and a number of famous faces such as:
- Frank Bruno: The former world heavyweight boxing champion
- Jake Wood and Tanya Franks: Max Branning and Rainie Cross from EastEnders
- Locksmith: From the British drum and bass band Rudimental
As well as The Vitality Big Half there are a number of other events designed to encourage new or younger runners to take part. These include:
- The New Balance Big Relay (09:00 start): Teams of runners combine to split the half marathon distance into four legs
- The Vitality Big Mile (12:30 start): A free family-run event in Greenwich Park designed for first-time runners or walkers, families with children of all ages and anyone looking to get more healthy and active
- The Little Half (12:45 start): A 2.3-mile event that starts in Surrey Quays and joins The Vitality Big Half route to finish in front of the Cutty Sark
Finally there is the free The Vitality Big Festival in Greenwich Park which is a sporting, cultural and musical showcase of the very best of the local London communities.
The Vitality Big Stage in partnership with BBC Introducing will present the hottest up-and-coming acts and local community performers while there is a second stage which will feature acoustic performances from the very best local talent.
Among the acts taking part are Jermain Jackman, who won The Voice in 2014. Also in the festival, visitors will be able to enjoy food from across the world, cooking masterclasses, health and wellbeing activities and fun and games for children including a helter-skelter. It is open from 09:00 to 16:00.