The organiser of the Royal Parks Half Marathon has announced that the 2022 event will be held on Sunday 9th October and has opened a ballot to allocate places.
The race is returning to its traditional route, which begins and ends in Hyde Park. The route was changed for the 2021 event so the start and finish line were in separate locations to make social distancing easier.
The ballot is free to enter (opens in new tab) and remains open until 5pm on Wednesday 2nd February, with the results announced on 4th February. If you have been allocated a place, you will need to pay the £59 entry fee by 5pm on 11th February or forfeit your spot.
However, there is the option to pay the £59 up front to gain entry into a second-chance ballot if you are unsuccessful in the first, with the results from that draw to be revealed on 14th February. If you strike out in both ballots, your £59 is donated to the Royal Parks charity.
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There are, of course, other ways to secure a spot. There are plenty of charities offering places in the Royal Parks Half Marathon in return for fundraising. Here’s the official list of charities with Royal Parks Half race places (opens in new tab) on the Royal Parks Half website.
Even if you do get a place through the ballot, it is well worth raising anything you can for charity. The suspension of mass-participation races during the pandemic has hit charities especially hard, because they rely on individual fundraising of this sort for a significant slice of their revenue.
The Royal Parks Half, which celebrates its 15th anniversary this year, is London’s most scenic half marathon. While the London Landmarks Half Marathon in the spring also runs through central London and takes in sights like Trafalgar Square, only the Royal Parks takes runners through Hyde Park, Green Park, St James’s Park and Kensington Gardens.
While the route narrows somewhat through the parks, making it less attractive to PB hunters who may find themselves held up in congested stretches, the atmosphere and support make it an event every distance runner should have on their bucket list.
Enter the ballot (opens in new tab) | Free to enter, race place £59
Jonathan Shannon has been the editor of the Coach website since 2016, developing a wide-ranging experience of health and fitness. Jonathan took up running while editing Coach and has run a sub-40min 10K and 1hr 28min half marathon. His next ambition is to complete a marathon. He’s an advocate of cycling to work and is Coach’s e-bike reviewer, and not just because he lives up a bit of a hill. He also reviews fitness trackers and other workout gear.
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