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British man runs 67-minute half-marathon inside Heathrow Airport

Two YouTubers hosted a half-marathon for elite runners inside London Heathrow's Terminal 5 departure lounge

heathrow half

On Oct. 26, two prominent British YouTubers, Josh Pieters and Archie Thomas Manners, staged a one-of-a-kind race at Europe’s busiest airport, London Heathrow. The duo invited six of Team GB’s top distance runners to race a half-marathon in the waiting area before their flight to Belfast. Steeplechaser Dan Jarvis reportedly won the inaugural Heathrow Airport Half in a fast time of 67:30, given the circumstances.

There are 500 marathons in the U.K. each year–none of them in an airport. Every traveller is told to get to the gate two hours before their flight, and Josh & Archie had the idea of using those two hours to host a half-marathon inside Heathrow’s Terminal 5 departure lounge. The YouTubers booked the athletes’ flights to Belfast (because it was the cheapest destination) and wheel-measured a 2.1 km loop around the departure lounge, which the runners would complete 10 times while avoiding other airport patrons (and potentially getting arrested).

Some of the elite athletes included 2:11 marathoner Josh Griffiths, who was eighth at the 2021 London Marathon and 14th at the 2019 Toronto Waterfront Marathon; 2:14 marathoner Ross Braden; and British 100K champion Matt Dickinson

Josh Griffiths
Photo: Team GB athlete Josh Griffiths at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Ore. Photo: Josh Griffiths/Strava

From the video, a pack of four men established an early lead through 10K, with Jarvis taking the lead in the latter stages. Jarvis, who has a half-marathon PB of 67:10 from 2021, broke the tape in front of their gate to Belfast to win the 500-pound purse.

Josh & Archie’s added prize money to attract top-level talent to the race. The concept of their videos is to take on unusual/crazy challenges in a unique public setting. The duo currently has 1.5 million YouTube subscribers. Airport patrons did not seem to care that this event was taking place and gave a few distinct looks. 

The inaugural Heathrow Half champion, Jarvis, is currently training for the 2022 Valencia Marathon on Dec. 4, where half marathon world record holder Letesenbet Gidey is planning to debut.

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