Ballot opens for London’s most iconic half marathon

The 2020 Royal Parks Half Marathon presented by Royal Bank of Canada, will take place on Sunday October 11 and will celebrate the best of London’s spectacular green landscapes and iconic city landmarks.

The Royal Parks Half was created in 2008 and was the first event of its kind. This annual sell-out event has continued to be pioneering ever since its inception. Now, in its 13th year, the spectacular 13.1-mile route will once again take 16,000 runners past many of the capital’s world-famous sites; all on closed roads and through four of London’s eight Royal Parks – Hyde Park, The Green Park, St James’s Park and Kensington Gardens. 

The 2020 public ballot is now open. For more information on how to secure your place in the Royal Parks Half Marathon please visit

The Royal Parks is the charity that exists to make sure London’s eight historic Royal Parks will always be there to enrich the lives of residents and visitors to London. New for 2020, the race has launched its #RunGreen campaign with the aim of encouraging more people to escape into a Royal Park or their local green space, whilst keeping sustainability at the heart of everything they do.

Since the race’s inception in 2008, sustainability has been at the core of the race and now in 2020, it underpins everything the event organisers do. The Royal Parks Half will continue their commitment to decrease the environmental footprint of the race following a hugely successful 2019 which saw the Half Marathon become one of the first major UK running events to go plastic bottle free. Plastic bottles were completely removed from the route and no single use plastic was distributed on the course or in the village which equates to 165,232 plastic bottles removed. Compostable cups replaced plastic water bottles and a comprehensive waste management strategy was devised, including closed-loop composting of all the water cups. 

Not only that, but all runners received a bamboo and recycled polyester finisher t-shirt instead of a race t-shirt. This action alone removed 87kg of plastic that was previously used to individually wrap each shirt. In addition, a first of its kind environmental policy meant that the sustainability drive extended to all the Royal Parks Half partners, exhibitors and sponsors.

Equally as important as the Half Marathon’s sustainability efforts are the funds raised to support over 1,000 of its charity partners. Since the race’s inception in 2008, an impressive sum of close to £50 million has been raised for charities big and small, including the half marathons Golden Oak charity partners: Cancer Research UK, Great Ormond Street Hospital, British Heart Foundation, Mind and Tommy’s.

“2019 was a huge year for us. We were incredibly proud to be able to announce the removal of plastic bottles from the course, a year ahead of our initial schedule,” says Persephone Deacon-Cole, Project Lead at The Royal Park. 

“The feedback we received was overwhelming positive and we want to thank everyone who helped and supported us along the way, especially the runners and our partners who share our values.”

The 2020 public ballot is now open. For more information on how to secure your place in the Royal Parks Half Marathon please visit

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