12 Oct

Chain Reaction At Royal Parks Half Marathon

Royal Parks HalfThe ‘world record’ for running a half marathon wearing full upper body chain mail was broken by David Cooke, from Dartford, at the Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon on Sunday (9 October). David was one of 16,000 to finish as he rattled round the 13.1 mile course in his 20kg outfit in an impressive 2:43:49 to raise over £1,000 for the London Air Ambulance.

The stunning route includes many of London’s most iconic landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Royal Albert Hall and the Houses of Parliament on closed roads, plus four of London’s Royal Parks: Hyde Park, The Green Park, St James’s Park and Kensington Gardens.

The winner was Russell Best, 26, from New Marske Harriers, who retained his title in 1:09:39, two seconds slower than 2015. He commented: “What a great day for it. I was nervous as we’ve just got a beagle puppy, so I haven’t had much sleep.”

The first lady home was Rose Harvey, 24, from Clapham Chasers, who completed the course in 1:21:29, a personal best by five seconds. She said: “This is the first year I’ve done the Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon. I’ve had a hip injury, but thankfully it held up. It’s a PB, so I’m delighted”. Rose was 43rd (2:55:41, PB) in the Virgin London Marathon in April.

Celebrity runners who took part included Radio 2’s Jo Whiley; BBC presenters Emily Maitlis and Sophie Raworth; Sky News presenter Sarah Jane Mee; Ab Fab actress Camilla Rutherford; TV presenter Jenni Falconer; model and athlete Nell McAndrew and author and broadcaster Ben Fogle.

Chainmail Dave This year’s event is expected to raise £4m for 431 charities. The last words belong to chain mail record breaker, David Cooke: “Thank you to everyone for your support it has been an amazing journey to achieve my second world record at the Royal Parks Half. I’m blistered, I'm bruised, I'm shattered but I have two world records to my name and have raised an amazing amount of sponsorship for the London Air Ambulance. Not a bad year!”

Full details can be found at the Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon website.

Images courtesy Royan Parks Foundation Half Marathon/rbcreate and London Air Ambulance