The Hackney Half Marathon is London’s most popular half marathon for a reason. It’s so much more than a race – there’s a whole festival of fitness. And, if you’d headed down to Hackney in East London last weekend, you'd have noticed a swollen mass of runners, beer pop-ups, and a flotilla of paddle-boarders floating down the River Lea Navigation. Three epic days of movement, fun and sweat. Here were the best bits:
- People paddle-boarded along the River Lea. As well as regular paddle-boarding, there was paddle-boarding yoga, which requires a stomach-clenching core to stay afloat.
- 17,000 runners took part in the Hackney Half Marathon. This makes it the most popular half-marathon in London, and one of the most popular in the UK. Jonathan Cornish - the male winner - and Emily Stewart - female winner - won with times of 1:06:58 and 01:19.45 respectively. Jonathan said: “I love the buzz of the Hackney Half Marathon. Great energy, support, and cheering the whole way! And so happy to achieve a PB of about 20 seconds. And hope to be back soon!”. Emily, female winner of the Hackney Half said: “I really enjoyed the race. It’s the first race I’ve run with spectators, which really spurs you on! It was great fun! I was smiling the whole way.”
- 1000 kids from Hackney Schools ran the 1.1 mile challenge and community runners got involved too. Track Mafia got involved with the local community to get everyone involved in the event. Cory Wharton-Malcolm founder of Track Mafia and Nike Running Head Coach said: “There are some who believe that the Hackney weekend is just about running, but to us and many others it’s about so much more. It’s about togetherness, it’s about supporting others and most importantly it’s about celebrating our differences. This, for us, is the epitome of community – the ability to come together and share the road with people who in your normal day to day life you would never come across.”
- 190,000 plastic water bottles were eliminated from the six water aid stations on the Hackney Half route. They were replaced with 100 per cent recyclable paper cups and 40,000 litres of water. Additionally, One Water provided recyclable cartons for the finish line, to eliminate an additional 35,000 water bottles.
Read more about the Hackney Festival of Sport 2019 here