Virgin Sport look after some of the biggest events in the UK now and they’ve just announced their line-up for 2020!
First up is the Hackney Half, London’s ‘largest and most vibrant half marathon’, on 17th May. The route starts from Hackney Marshes and there are DJs and live music every mile to keep you motivated. Tickets are on sale now (at £49 which includes race photos, technical NIKE finisher’s tee, and swag bag)
For more information and entry: virginsport.com/hackney
Next it’s the ASICS London 10k, which will be on 5th July. This race is a favourite with runners because it’s flat and it takes in some of London’s most iconic landmarks, such as Big Ben and the London Eye. Again, there are live bands and DJs along the route, as well as post-race festivities in central London. Early bird tickets are on sale now (for £45, which includes race photos, technical ASICS finisher’s tee, and swag bag)
For more information and entry: virginsport.com/london
Lastly it’s the 10th edition of the Oxford Half on 11th October. This historic city provides a perfect backdrop for runners, who will run past world-famous museums, world-renowned universities and parks and landmarks. The ballot application opens in December. Charity and Corporate Challenge entries open now.
For more information and entry: virginsport.com/oxford
There’s one laudable common theme among all these races and that’s the lack of plastic!
Earlier this year Jessica Frey, CEO of Virgin Sport explained how they are aiming to create the most eco-friendly mass participation sporting events in the UK: “As a mass participation event company, we promote health and wellbeing, and we don’t want to stop with personal health. We want to consider the health of the planet and the impact of our events on the environment.
This year we are eliminating over 500,000 single use plastic bottles from all race routes across our three events, Hackney Half, ASICS London 10K and Oxford Half. The Hackney Half Marathon in May 2019 was the largest race in the UK to eliminate single use plastic bottles, having removed 190,000 single use plastic bottles from the route and 35,000 from the finish line. That’s something we are really proud of.
We are also excited to say that the ASICS London 10K will be the first Virgin Sport race to replace plastic kit bags with long-life natural cotton tote bags. These cotton totes will be implemented at all our events moving forward.”
But eliminating plastic bottles hasn’t come without difficulties. Jessica says: “Eliminating plastic comes at a cost. The 100% recyclable cups we’re using are more expensive than plastic water bottles, and we have to recruit additional volunteers to staff aid stations and fill the cups. We also pay for waste management services to ensure that the cups are recycled properly in a closed-loop process. At the same time we’re teaching runners how to drink from a cup during a race – it’s not as easy as you might think!”