Hackney Half Marathon returns on 30 April

Bigger and better than ever, the Hackney Half is back: turning the streets of Hackney into a festival of sport

THE borough is set to echo with the sounds of cheering crowds and pounding feet as the Hackney Half Marathon once again takes over the streets. 

Tens of thousands of runners will pass many of Hackney’s most iconic landmarks on the 13.1 mile course, including Hackney DownsHackney Empire, Broadway Market, Victoria Park and the Olympic Stadium

The race on 30 April forms part of the Virgin Sport Hackney Festival of Fitness, held in partnership with the Council. 

Hackney Marshes will be transformed into a free access festival village, featuring local bands and DJs, roaming entertainment, live artwork installations, pop-up sports activities plus an amazing array of East London’s finest food and drink. 

The Hackney Half Marathon starts at 9am and for those keener on shorter distances, there is a 5.5km fun race in the afternoon. 

There will also be a fitness and yoga boot camp including Faisal Abdulla (Ellie Goulding’s personal trainer) hosting a high intensity interval training class and Hackney-based Fat Buddha Yoga providing the next generation of urban yoga. 

All roads around the half marathon route (see map below) will close at 7am and will be re-opened by 2pm. Lee Conservancy Road and Homerton Road, between the junctions of Digby Road and Eastway, will then be closed from 1pm to 2pm for the 5.5k race. 

Feeling inspired to work up a sweat? Hackney residents are being offered free entry to a 5.5k fun run as part of the Virgin Sport Festival of Fitness. Participants will get to enjoy the full ‘big city race’ treatment, complete with water stations, bands and entertainment, pace setters, signage, finishers medals and t-shirts. 

Places for the fun run on 30 April will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, and applicants must be aged 15 or over. The 5.5k starts at 1.45pm. 

Alternatively, if people prefer to workout on the spot, join in one of the free stretch, exercise, dance or yoga classes taking place during the day. Choose between one of three high intensity interval training workouts, numerous stretch sessions, a drum and box workout, two dance classes to ‘Thriller’ and ‘Beat It’, and a 'yoga for all' class to round off the day. 

Finally, even if people can't be tempted to run, sweat or stretch, but would still like to join in the fun by enjoying the day and cheering on the half marathoners, three ‘Fan Hubs’ have been set up along the race course. A range of bands and DJs will keep people entertained and motivate the runners as they travel around the course, at these hubs:

• Hub 1: Mare Street, directly opposite Hackney Town Hall, shortly before mile five.

• Hub 2: Victoria Park Village, within the heart of the leafy Victoria Park, immediately after mile eight.

• Hub 3: Here East, the canal-side watering hole in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park at mile 12.5, where there will be live bands performing.

These Fan Hubs will be great spots to soak up the atmosphere. And maybe you'll be inspired enough to enter next year.