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Royal Parks Foundation London Half Marathon 2017

28 June 2017 | Guy Smith

2017 sees the 10th birthday of the Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon when 16,000 runners will cross the start line in Hyde Park on Sunday 8th October. London Calling takes a look at what has made this race so special, why it was voted ‘Best New Event of the Decade’ at the Runner’s World magazine awards in May 2017 and how it’s not too late to take part.

In the past decade the Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon (RPFHM) has grown into one of the most popular (and picturesque) events in the UK running calendar, a chance to experience London in all its autumnal splendour through a fascinating and unique route.


Image courtesy of the Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon  
 
The course takes you through four of London’s eight Royal Parks – Hyde Park, Green Park, St. James’s Park and Kensington Gardens - and passes many iconic landmarks on the way to the finish line. You will be able to look out for Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Downing Street, the Houses of Parliament and Royal Albert Hall during the race, taking your mind away from boring stuff like split times or whether to risk another gel! No need to worry about traffic either, this is a closed road race.
 
Since 2008 a staggering £30 million has been raised for over 750 charities by the 112,000 runners who have taken part and, although the race has sold out this year via the ballot, there are still two ways you can secure a place. The first is to run for one of the 500 charities available, or the second is to take part in The Corporate 13.1 challenge as part of a team of 4-7 runners from your company.


Image courtesy of the Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon  
 

Not only does the RPFHM generate huge amounts of income for charitable causes, it is also one of the most environmentally friendly running events in the UK. Sustainability initiatives are evident throughout: race t-shirts are made from recycled polyester (around 14 soft drinks bottles per shirt, no less!); participant medals made from sustainably sourced wood and runners discarded clothing is donated to Oxfam. 60% of all waste from the event is recycled and even surplus food from catering areas is collected and distributed to those in need.
 
Over the years the race has seen many celebrities take part including Gordon Ramsey, Ellie Goulding, Ben Fogle and, erm, the Cheeky Girls. Keep your eyes peeled and check who is running next to you. If he looks like Fat Boy Slim then it probably is.
 
To see London at its finest, raise money for a good cause and take part in the “best Half Marathon in the south of England”, sign up now.

The Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon takes place on Sunday October 8 and starts in Hyde Park.

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