London half marathons: Five of the capital’s best running challenges

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Tempted to enter a half marathon in 2023? We’ve rounded up five upcoming events in London.

For those of you feeling inspired after the London Marathon but aren’t feeling quite ready to take on a 26.2 mile challenge, why not try a half marathon?

Most half marathons tend to take place during the spring or autumn – which either means you’ll be training in the depth of winter or height of summer.

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Tempted to enter a half marathon in 2023? We’ve rounded up five upcoming events in London.

The Hackney Half Marathon will take place on Sunday May 21. Credit: Limelight sportsThe Hackney Half Marathon will take place on Sunday May 21. Credit: Limelight sports
The Hackney Half Marathon will take place on Sunday May 21. Credit: Limelight sports | Credit: Limelight sports

Hackney Half Marathon

May 21 2023

The Wizz Air Hackney Half Marathon is London’s largest and most popular half marathon, and part of the annual two-day Hackney Moves festival across May 20-21.

The race starts in Hackney Marshes and covers a flat route through Hackney, which will take runners down Mare Street and through the historic Broadway Market.

Participants can take in Hackney Wick’s vibrant street art, then explore green spaces including Haggerston and Downs Park, crossing over twelve canals and rivers.

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Runners can pick up their pace in London Fields and then finally make their way back to Hackney Marshes for their triumphant finish.

Battersea Park Half Marathon

July 29 2023

Battersea Park is one of London’s most picturesque parks and has been a favourite course for those wanting to run a half marathon.

The course is totally flat, offering the perfect opportunity to push yourself to a personal best. Starting and finishing at the Parks Bandstand this course laps the park making it easy to follow and great for any spectators to catch you flying around the course.

Participants enjoying the Big HalfParticipants enjoying the Big Half
Participants enjoying the Big Half | Credit: The Big Half

The Big Half

September 3 2023

Organised by the London Marathon team, the Big Half Marathon is a one-day running festival for athletes of all abilities.

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The 13.1-mile route begins at Tower Bridge, and winds through Southwark, Tower Hamlets and Lewisham before finishing at the Cutty Sark in Greenwich.

Richmond Park Half Marathon

September 10 2023

The Richmond Half Marathon is part of a weekend which also includes the Richmond Runfest Marathon, and the Kew Gardens 10k. The Half and Full Marathon start within the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and finish in the Old Deer Park in Richmond.

Tour the gardens before passing historical assets including Ham House, Richmond Palace, Teddington Lock, and the meandering River Thames, finishing at a fantastic finish festival and fitness expo with live music in Old Deer Park.

Royal Parks Half Marathon

October 8 2023

Widely regarded as one of the UK’s most scenic half marathons, the Royal Parks Half Marathon takes its 16,000 participants on a journey through four of London’s beautiful Royal Parks, including Hyde Park, Green Park, St James’s Park, and Kensington Gardens.

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The route also takes runners past several of London’s iconic landmarks including Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, Trafalgar Square and Royal Albert Hall.

The event prides itself on being the UK’s “greenest” major half marathons, as it continues to maintain its pledge to ban all plastic bottles within the race’s festival site whilst giving runners an opportunity to plant a tree instead of receiving a finishing medal.

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