Hackney happy to play host to Virgin Sport Festival of Fitness once again in 2018

PUBLISHED: 17:00 14 December 2017

Runners set off at the 2017 Hackney Half Marathon

Runners set off at the 2017 Hackney Half Marathon


Hackney will host the Virgin Sport Festival of Fitness in 2018, including its annual half marathon event in May.

Richard Branson at the start of the 2017 Virgin Hackney Marathon (pic Tom Nicholson) Richard Branson at the start of the 2017 Virgin Hackney Marathon (pic Tom Nicholson)

Up to 16,000 runners will take to the streets for the 13.1-mile race, presented by ASICS, with many more participating in free fitness classes on Hackney Marshes.

The half marathon route passes Hackney Downs, Hackney Empire, Broadway Market, Victoria Park and the London Stadium, with bands and DJs providing entertainment at every mile.

And defending champion Paul Whittaker is excited to return to east London, saying: “The Hackney half marathon is one of the best I’ve ever run in the UK.

“The support from the crowds throughout Hackney was amazing and I can’t wait to enter for 2018.”

Runners will receive medals at the Hackney Half Marathon Runners will receive medals at the Hackney Half Marathon

Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville added: “We’re delighted to welcome the Virgin Sport Hackney Festival of Fitness and half marathon back to the borough again.

“The event is really made by the thousands of Hackney residents who take to the streets to cheer on the runners, they really spurred me on when I ran my first half marathon this year.

“I’m looking forward to running again in 2018 and hopefully shaving a few minutes off my time!”

A limited amount of early-bird tickets, priced at £45, are now on sale at and include race entry, photos, a finisher’s T-shirt and tote bag.

There are also £89 tickets available, which include the same souvenirs, as well as private baggage check, posh toilets and race-day hospitality.

Freddie Andrewes, of Virgin Sport, said: “We are so excited to bring our Festival of Fitness back to Hackney in 2018 after an incredible 2017 event. It was a celebration of movement and encouraged all people of all backgrounds to move together to give sport a try and have a blast.

“What made the event so fantastic was the huge support from our local partners and the East London community.”

And Cathy McGinnis, marketing manager for ASICS, added: “ASICS is proud to continue as the official sportwear presenting partner for Virgin Sport Hackney.

“This is a key event in the running calendar for entrants of all levels from near and far and we are looking forward to supporting them on their personal journeys to race day.”


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