The Royal Parks Half Marathon, presented by Royal Bank of Canada, saw more than six thousand runners, from 42 countries, take part in a never-before-seen digital event experience, with the race coming to runners for one year only. We previewed the event earlier in the year here.
This one-off digital experience celebrated green spaces up and down the country, with runners coming together to provide critical fundraising for the UK’s charities.
Working with a the event app, the Royal Parks Half provided runners with as much of a race day experience as possible using digital integrations. Through the app, runners experienced the atmosphere of race day through custom audio cues and augmented reality that brought the iconic route to life as they ran in their local area.
To recreate the event day experience, race morning incorporated an online warm-up led by professional dancer and fitness trainer, Karen Hauer, before the race got underway at 9am after being officially started by Eddie Izzard. Runners were encouraged to find open space and connect with nature, all whilst following the latest government guidance on social distancing.
Audio cues were played to runners at each mile of the course by celebrity names including Ore Oduba, Victoria Pendleton, Jenni Falconer, Andi Peters, Sophie Raworth, Selasi Gbormittah, Paul Tonkinson and Rob Deering.
Amongst those taking part in the race were the five outstanding charity runners selected for the Inspire campaign – an initiative created by race organisers to celebrate individuals who have overcome adversity to inspire others. See their website here.
All runners were sent a premium race pack with their race bib, sustainable water bottle, courtesy of RBC, finish line made from seeded paper and fsc certified beech wooden medal. An interactive leader board was enabled during the race, with the standard winner categories awarded as usual, in addition to a new non-binary field.