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Royal Parks Half brings 16,000 runners to streets of London

by Press Release
Monday 10th October 2016
London played host to the Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon on Sunday 9th October, which saw 16,000 runners complete the scenic 13.1 mile race through four of London’s eight Royal Parks and past the capital’s most iconic landmarks.
The stunning route is the only half marathon to go through central London on closed roads, and four of London’s eight Royal Parks, making it one of the most iconic and scenic half marathons in any city in the world. As well as running through these historic parks, competitors took in some of the iconic landmarks of London, such as Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Royal Albert Hall and the Houses of Parliament.
The Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon annual fundraising event not only benefits the Royal Parks Foundation, which funds sport, education, art, heritage restoration and wildlife conservation projects across London’s eight Royal Parks, but also supports other charities big and small. This year’s event is expected to raise £4m for the 431 charities taking part.
Celebrity runners who took part in today’s half marathon included BBC 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 amateur athlete Nell McAndrew and presenter, author and broadcaster Ben Fogle.

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One of the 16,000 runners taking part in this year’s Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon was Dave Cooke, who set an unofficial world record for the fastest marathon wearing full upper body chainmail earlier this year.
Dave ran today’s race hoping to re-create his earlier success, by running the world’s fastest half marathon wearing upper body chainmail, which weighed in at an impressive 20kg. He was raising funds for the London Air Ambulance as well as raising its profile. Dave said:
“Thank you to everyone for your support it has been an amazing journey to achieve my second world record at the Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon.
He added: “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!”
Dave crossed the finish line in 2hrs, 43m 49seconds, setting an unofficial new world record and having raised over £1,000 for London Air Ambulance.
For those who came out to support their friends and family, the Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon also provided a spectacular ‘Food and Fitness Festival’. Supporters took part in a wide range of sporting and creative activities including a climbing wall, football and tennis coaching, as well as enjoying the live music and exploring the tempting food market.

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The winning runner, Russ Best, 26, from Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire made it around the course in a time of 1h 09m39. He commented: What a great day for it, lovely temperature! I was nervous as we’ve just got a beagle puppy, so I haven’t had much sleep! Really happy with the time.
The fastest female runner was Rose Harvey, 24, from Clapham, London who covered the distance in 1h 21m29. She added: 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!
Commenting on today’s race, Sara Lom, Chief Executive of the Royal Parks Foundation, said; “It’s wonderful to see so many runners coming together from all across the UK and abroad, not only are they supporting the Royal Parks, they are supporting our beautiful green city. Parks are not a luxury they are a necessity and they make us feel better in so many different ways.”

Photos by Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon and rbccreate

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