11 Oct

Parklife

Royal Park Runners

Some 12,500 runners took part in another successful staging of the Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon in London on Sunday (October 9).

An estimated 40,000 spectators cheered the runners through the scenic course which takes in Hyde Park, The Green Park, St James's Park and Kensington Gardens.

Sam Farah was crowned this year's winner, finishing in 1:08:39. Farah, a baker based at at Tower Bridge and no relation to Mo - said: "The Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon is a race which I have looked forward to ever since entering earlier this year. To cross the line in first place to the magnificent roars of the crowd was an experience I will never forget."

The first female to cross the line was fell runner Tish Jones, who completed the race in 1:23:28. Jones said: "It's such an honour to take part in the Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon. It's such a great event, running through London's Royal Parks and the crowd proved to be a great source of motivation for me from start to finish."

A wealth of celebrities also took on the half marathon challenge with Nell McAndrew, dressed as a forest fairy, the first to finish in 1:25:20.

Other famous faces included Sky Sports presenter Charlie Webster, Olympic swimming champion Adrian Moorhouse, DJ Mark Goodier, Olympic rowing champion Jonny Searle and soap star Angela Griffin.

Sara Lom, Chief Executive of the Royal Parks Foundation commented: "Race day has a great atmosphere and feel-good factor for runners and spectators, motivating thousands of people to enjoy a healthier lifestyle and raise millions of pounds for charity."

The half marathon field included 17 runners over the age of 70, as well as dozens of charity entrants in a range of costumes, including a dragon, a panda and even a giant squirrel!

Renowned for its carnival like atmosphere, race day also featured the Pulse3K race for 11-16 year olds as well as a family friendly Food & Fitness Festival in Hyde Park for the 40,000 spectators. Visitors sampled delicious gastronomic delights throughout the day and took part in a number of activities including Badminton, Parkour, Fencing, and an Army Assault Course.

The Ballot for next year's Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon will open on January 18, 2012. To receive information about the ballot launch, register interest for the 2012 race online.