Love Luton Half Marathon 2018

It’s that time of year again, for what has now become an annual event on my calendar, the Love Luton Half Marathon 2018. This year was held on the 28th October 2018.  It was my 4th time of running the Love Luton Half Marathon and my 38th Half Marathon!

Please read my race recaps from 2015, 2016  and 2017 for more details.

It was a near freezing 5°C and rained as I ran up to Stockwood Park Athletics Club.  It was a nice little 2.88 km warm up.  But I soon cooled right back down again when I got there. This year the race bib and chip were sent beforehand, a welcome improvement. This meant that you didn’t have to arrive too early and stand around, either queueing or waiting to start. Another welcome addition was the warmup crew. There was a warmup session in the form of a mini aerobics class. That was so much fun and definitely warmed me back up again.

I’ve been working up in Leicester for the last few months.  Although I’ve seen a few people at parkruns and the odd race here and there, it was great to catch up with my fellow Stopsley Striders.  It being our local race, we turned out in force, 92 in all.  34 of us ran the half marathon and 48 ran the 10K!  Well done everyone! 🙂


Love Luton Half 2018 - Striders

Shortly after the aerobics class, that was the warmup :), the 10K runners were sent to the start line.  Their race started at 9:00am and the half marathon was to start at 9:15am.  The 10kers all started off well, as we watched them on their way.  We then made our way round the track to the start! I slowly was getting cold again. And after standing and chatting for a little while I decided to go for a jog back round to warm up again. As I slowly made my 200 metres back, I could hear that the warm up crew were back in action. So I attempted to join in again. It was short lived as the announcer sent us back to the start line.  So I jogged my way back round, another 200 metres.

Love Luton Half Marathon route

The race route remained the same, with last years alterations.  There was a slight repositioning of the last but one water station in the park.  I thought that it was a little too close to final water station.

Great crowd support outside of the Hoo, especially through the town centre and by the finish.  I normally don’t like passing the finish line way ahead of actually finishing, and especially with 7 km to go.  But the cheers and encouragement we received on passing through was a great boost.  And it was great to see some of the 10K Strider finishers staying back, even in the cold, to cheer us halfers on.  Both at the 15K point and at the finish.  Much appreciated! 😀

I’ve updated the  splits by year table I created last year, moving out my 2015 time (2hr 37m 48s) to make way for this years times.  My first 5km in at 28:41.  The 2nd 5K segment was the  slowest split at 31:45 due to the two remaining big hills.  The first 10K took 1hr 26s, and the second was around 1hr 59s.  Quite evenly paced throughout.  Oh and I did stop to take a picture in the Hoo too!  The Finish, last 1.1 km was amazing.  I found some kind of energy and focus and managed a proper sprint finish.  Where was that earlier in the race!

Splits by year

Distance 2018 2017 2016
1-5 km 5:49 5:31 4:56 5:43 6:41; 28:41 5:50 5:27 4:54 5:27 6:07; 27:45 6:34 6:31 5:57 6:44 8:37; 34:24
6-10 km 6:48 5:16 7:54 6:02 5:46; 31:45 6:15 4:49 6:24 5:44 5:24; 28:36 7:34 6:26 8:22 8:25 7:15; 38:02
11-15 km 6:17 6:14 5:48 5:34 6:33; 30:28 5:21 5:46 5:29 5:26 5:49; 27:51 6:27 7:27 6:54 6:51 7:55; 35:34
16-20 km 6:07 6:03 5:56 6:00 6:25; 30:31 5:41 5:50 5:30 5:36 5:49; 28:26 7:41 7:05 7:02 7:10 7:09; 36.07
The Finish 5:19 0:12;
4:49 0:20;
7:11 0:39;
Total 2:06:57 1:57:47 2:31:57

My official time was 5 seconds less.

Love Luton Half 2018

Unfortunately I was about 10 minutes slower than last year.  My excuses are…  my body must still be in marathon mode 😀 , I ran about 3 km beforehand providing a 25 km run all in all…. and not training for this race specifically!  I only managed 1-2 runs over 6 miles since Loch Ness, and not really back on form.

I thoroughly enjoyed this race! Thanks to the organisers, volunteers and supporters that made it all happen.  I was looking forward to a purple medal again this year, but due to Luton Remembers 1918-2018 everything was poppy red.  Added bonus of being Stopsley Striders colours as well!

Love Luton Half Marathon medal

How was your Love Luton experience?


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