Run Hackney half marathon returns on 8 May

Cheer on the 15,000 Run Hackney half marathon runners this Sunday

RECORD number of runners are set to take part in this year’s Vitality Run Hackney half marathon, on Sunday, 8 May.

More than 15,000 people are expected to participate in the annual event’s third outing, with thousands more lining the streets to cheer them on.

This year’s race weekend kicks off on 7 May, with a free, five kilometre course around Hackney Marshes for 2,000 local runners who are new to the sport. The main race takes place the morning after, with the 13.1 mile course starting and finishing at Hackney Marshes.

The half marathon is due to begin at 9am, with elite athletes expected to finish just after 10am. Most of the other runners should complete the course between 10.45 and 11.45am. Last year’s race was won by Matthew Kimutai, with a time of 1:03:21.

The course takes in some of the borough’s most iconic landmarks, including Hackney Empire, Broadway Market, and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (see map below).

Supporters will be able to soak up the atmosphere from spectator points along the route, where they will enjoy music, refreshments and family entertainment. 

The race village, at Hackney Marshes, will also have lots going on to entertain friends and family – while they wait for their loved ones to finish the run – including yoga and exercise sessions, massages and a chill out zone.

Some of Hackney’s younger runners will also be picking up medals, after completing the final leg of the Hackney Schools’ Challenge. Pupils have been tasked with running a mile, once or twice a week, in order to complete 12 miles before race day. They will then complete the final 1.1 miles from 9.30am on 8 May, running the total equivalent of a half marathon.

On race day, many of Hackney’s streets will be closed from 7am to create a traffic-free route. Most roads will reopen from 11.30am, and all are expected to be fully open from 2pm.

Some roads will be subject to parking suspensions from midnight on Saturday, 7 May, until 2pm, on Sunday, 8 May. Some local bus routes may also be affected.