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Today (Sun 13th Oct 2019) I ran the Royal Parks Half Marathon with 20 of my work colleagues, and about 16,000´┐╝ other runners! The half takes place in central London and takes in some of the capital’s world-famous landmarks and four of London’s eight Royal Parks – Hyde Park (where the race starts and finishes), The Green Park, St James’s Park and Kensington Gardens.

We ran for charity I support of cancer charities, you can support us here: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/EsriUKHalfMarathonChallenge

For further details of the race, and to book for 2020, see https:/www.royalparkshalf.com

The race was run on a very well organised network of closed roads and park trails. For me this is a very accessible, enjoyable and friendly race. The start and finish were in Hyde Park with a ´┐╝runners village and food festival, which also had live music and entertainment for waiting family and friends. The entire route was lined with supporters and charities, which gave that extra boost of support to cheers us on. Many runners were raising money for charity, which is great to see and support.

A couple of highlights stood out for me. Firstly, running through London with no traffic and allowing time to appreciate the sights; secondly seeing a fellow runner wearing sandals… yep, running in flip flops, mad! I also liked the innovate approaches the organisers utilised to going plastic free, which included one water stop trying little ‘bags of water’ in a compostable wrapper you bit into – a great idea, but tricky to get used to at first with most of it over my face! The other water stops had compostable paper cups with enough water for two or three sips, this is all you need, and saves numerous plastic bottles being thrown still full of water. It is also reduces slip risk at the water stops due to no bottles littering the course.

Overall, a fully enjoyable day, made even better by hearing one of my colleagues came 7th overall (of 16,000 remember) in 1hr14mins…incredible!!