The Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon will be celebrating its tenth year in October when 16,000 runners take to the streets and parks of London for its October 8, 2017 event.
Launching back in 2008, it was the first race of its kind to take in the major parks of central London, and whilst there may have been some small changes to the route over the years, the commitment to hosting a race which showcases the best of London's sites and the stunning green space London has to offer hasn't changed.
The 13.1 mile route takes runners through four of London's eight Royal Parks including Hyde Park, The Green park, St James's Park and Kensington Gardens. As well as running through these historic parks, competitors also take in iconic landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square and the Houses of Parliament.
Since its birth, the Royal Parks Half Marathon has seen a steady growth from 9,000 runners in 2008, to 16,000 runners at last year's event, the full capacity for the race. There has also been a steady increase in the number of people taking part who do not live in the London area, up to 20% in 2016 compared to 2008.
A significant number of runners have never taken part in a half marathon before, with 35% of those running in 2016 completing the 13.1 mile race for the first time.
These figures are not only testament to the race's pull factor amongst running enthusiasts but also to the events' ability to inspire new runners to take part in a half marathon.
For those who prefer to support loved from the sidelines, the Royal Parks Half Marathon provides a spectacular 'Food and Fitness Festival' which boasts a wide range of sporting and creative activities for everyone including a tempting food market, live music and entertainment.
During the last 10 years the event has blazed the trail with its green message by promoting its sustainable ethos. In 2016, 40% of waste from the food festival and 110,000 plastic bottles were recycled, in addition to the Marathon's use of sustainable materials throughout all aspects of the event; bamboo shirts, wooden medals and banana bins, to name a few.
Head of Major Events at Royal Parks Foundation, Sally Berney, said: "We're incredibly proud of what we have achieved over the past 10 years, but most of all I'd like to thank all the runners who have taken part."
"It is thanks to them that over 750 charities have been able to raise vital funds, creating a ripples of good across the UK and beyond. They are all incredible!"
The 2017 public ballot is now open and you can register your interest in the 2017 race by following the link: https://royalparkshalf.com/Take-part-ballot/
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