Royal Parks Half Marathon
Runner - Duncan Watson
Number of runners - 16,000
Price – Ballot or Charity Place (raise approx £350-500)
What you have show for it – 8 minutes off my previous personal best.
Route description - Stunning 13.1 mile route takes in the capital’s world-famous landmarks on closed roads, and four of London’s eight Royal Parks – Hyde Park, The Green Park, St James’s Park and Kensington Gardens. Flat, well supported with great facilities after the event with a festival feel.
Reality of course description – Very flat, wide, well organised and the 9am start means you have the day to enjoy afterwards. Start and finish at the same place.
Water and Fuel Stations – Well located with water and Lucozade Sport
Time of year – October
Why I chose this race – The atmosphere, location and sights. I also wanted to raise money for the National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society as my son has been diagnosed with AS.
Organisation – Really well organised, lots for the supporters to do whilst you are running (even kids) and the Fitness First stretch and roller session at the end was great (even if a bird pooped on my head!). I liked the goodie bag and the environmentally friendly approach is great – even the medal is made of wood from a renewable source. I have never seen so much free water and sports drinks for everyone.
Feedback Summary – It is a great PB course, the support will pull you along, not too crowded and flat.
Will I be back – Definitely; every year. I have only done a few but it is the best Half I have run. Feels like a really special event without there being too many people; you can look up and enjoy the race without worrying that you will trip over someone else’s feet all the time.
Tips for next time – 9am start makes getting there difficult from LB on the train as the faster ones don’t start until it is a bit too late. We stayed at a Premier Inn at County Hall – book this early and it wont be too expensive and you can have a day out in London the day before – we did the Aquarium and Eye with the kids. Even in London as you get to Hyde Park station it does get busy so give yourself time. If you plan to stay in London for Lunch, book somewhere. We went to Covent Garden and struggled to get a table at Bills as it was full of other runners and supporters.
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