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The Royal Parks Half Marathon has been called Britain's "most beautiful half marathon" by virtue of its blend of expansive parks decked in autumnal finery and the capital's iconic landmarks. With huge crowd support, a flat, fast course and a food festival at the finish line, there's something for everyone at this popular event.
Run through four of the eight Royal Parks; Hyde Park, The Green Park, St. James’s Park and Kensington Gardens.
Run past Buckingham Palace, The London Eye, The Houses of Parliament, the Royal Albert Hall and much more.
Sustainability leads the way over the flat and fast course to the inspirational Food and Fitness Festival.
This award-winning event was set up as an annual fundraising initiative, raising sustainable funds for the Royal Parks to support London’s eight Royal Parks, and enabling charities of all sizes to be involved in a major challenge event.
Over the last twelve years the event has exceeded all expectations in raising £55 million for over 1,000 UK charities.
The money raised by the Royal Parks through this event helps to keep the magic of the Royal Parks alive through restoring monuments and playgrounds, teaching children about the natural world and caring for wildlife.
The race now starts on the most iconic road in the world – The Mall. Arrive at The Green Park, as this is where the start village is located. You will go through the start village to access the race start, so do not head directly to The Mall itself.
The course is an iconic and picturesque half marathon race through four Royal Parks (Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, St James’s Park and The Green Park) and past some of the capital’s most historic landmarks. Although undulating in parts, the course is not hilly and is great for either experienced or first-time half marathon runners.
Sustainability is at the top of the agenda! The aim is to make race day as green and sustainable as possible. Sixty-six percent of all waste from the event is recycled and now avoids landfill sites. More is being done with every event that is put on. It is important not only to protect the Parks but to reduce any impact on the wider world.
The commitment is to make the event as sustainable as possible, whilst maintaining the high-quality race experience that you’d expect. The environmental policy details the steps to help achieve this. Partners, charities and runners are encouraged to follow the principles outlined in the policy.
Runners are self-sufficient with their own hydration on-course with regular water refill points and compostable cups which help the event to be plastic bottle free. The Royal Parks Half was one of the first major half marathons in London to go plastic bottle free.
Every year thousands of runners take part in this event and fundraise for charity. While this is hugely beneficial to the charities it gives the runner advantages too, from supporting a cause that is close to your heart to securing a place in this highly sought-after event and much more.
Committing to raising money for charity gives you motivation to get outside and run, plus all of these extras which will elevate your event experience:
Charities know that raising money is all part of the challenge, which is why they provide advice, branded materials and a personalised online fundraising page to help the donations roll in. Think videos for social media, branded imagery and testimonials from previous runners.
Whether this is your first run or your fifth, you'll need to train for it! You'll receive an in-depth training plan with guidance, plus many charities have access to expert coaches and elite runners too, who can provide exclusive tips for your race preparation. Experts include Runningwithus, Full Potential and Olympic champs.
When you show up on the day, people need to be able to see clearly that you're supporting a charity. Most charities will give you a branded and personalised t-shirt or vest to run in on the big day, and often a training top too.
When you're partway through your run and your energy is flagging, what you need is a boost from cheering spectators to keep you moving. Many charities set up a cheer station along the route, keeping an eye out for you to send up a huge cheer as you run past!
Refreshments and an indulgent post-race sports massage are often provided by charities for their runners. This is the perfect way to recover alongside other people who have run for that cause.
You won't be the only person running for that charity, so it's well worth meeting other runners through the charity's invite-only social media pages! You can organise to meet up for training runs, chat with the charity's expert coaches and share tips and stories with each other to keep the motivation levels running high.
Charities buy places in this event, then give them to runners who agree to raise money for the charity – these are called charity places. Charity places are a great way to support a good cause and get a place in the event, especially if ballot entries are closed.
Running a half marathon and charity fundraising go hand-in-hand - which charity will you run for?
There are 2 ways to secure your place in this fantastic event:
Places in the event are allocated using a ballot system. All you need to do is fill in an application form and submit it before the deadline - you'll get a notification if you've been successful. Don't worry if you're not one of the lucky ones, you'll still be able to join a charity team to secure a place.
If you'd prefer to run as part of a charity team or you weren't one of the lucky ballot applications, you can still secure your place at the start line with a charity partner.
This was a really lovely half marathon... there were so many landmarks to see along the way. You got to see a lot of them more than once, as the route often looped back. Kerry
Great route through heart of London. Excellent support all the way, entering into Hyde Park is the biggest buzz with all the crowds willing you on. Mat
Always an outstanding race as it's closed roads and through London. Jane
A very good half marathon, very enjoyable, good goodie bag at the end, great location in Hyde Park with all the fair with all the stalls. You had the feeling that you were part of a great event. Luis
This was my sixth Royal Parks Half and still my favourite half. Also the first year accompanied by torrential rain but my goodness the charity support was still as strong as ever. A big thank you to All the supporters and organisers. Jeanette
Great race and highly recommend. Nick
The route was lovely taking in the streets of London followed by the parks... The support, especially in the parks was brilliant... The wooden medal is lovely and possibly one of my favourites. Erica
Reviews thanks to RaceCheck