The Royal Parks Half Marathon presented by Royal Bank of Canada celebrated its 10th birthday on Sunday (8 October) with a capacity entry of 16,000 and a total gifting of more than £35 million for 940 good causes since 2008.
Among the colourful throng were chipper BBC Radio 2 presenters Chris Evans and Jo Whiley and the broadcaster, traveller and adventurer Ben Fogle. Also competing and raising funds for their chosen charities were BBC presenter Emily Maitlis; ITV newsreader Andrea Byrne; TalkSPORT's Andy Goldstein; actors Camilla Rutherford, Susie Amy and Adam Woodyatt plus former 'Bake Off' winner Frances Quinn.
Runners followed a stunning 13.1 mile route through central London and four of London’s amazing Royal Parks, making it one of the most scenic half marathons in any city in the world. As well as winding through historic parks, competitors took in London’s key landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Royal Albert Hall and Houses of Parliament.
One of the 16,000 runners taking part this year was Sophie Grace Holmes who was raising awareness for Cystic Fibrosis and the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. Sophie 25, who was born 10 weeks premature, was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at four months old. Committed to living life to the full, Sophie made a bucket list of endurance events she wanted to take part in, including Royal Parks Half Marathon and so far this year Sophie has raised £3,000.
At the pointy end of affairs were the race winners James Hoad (Bedford, 1:08:51) and debut half marathoner Stephanie Davis (Clapham Chasers, 1:17:25) as 360 athletes rushed round the obviously fast course in less than 90 minutes.
Commenting on the race, Sally Barney, Head of Major Events for the Royal Parks, said: “It’s a testament to the runners and supporters from the UK and across the world who have helped the Royal Parks Half become one of the UK’s most successful charity events. Together with Limelight Sports we are very proud of what we have achieved in our first 10 years and look forward to the future. Congratulations and thank you to all the runners. Simply by taking part they have helped care for these magical green spaces in the heart of our capital city.”