Hackney Half: Organisers’ launch party treats passers-by to free yoga and a drums performance at a bus stop

Performers from the Drum Works group - which uses music to help reach young people in schools - sere

Performers from the Drum Works group - which uses music to help reach young people in schools - serenade people at a bus stop outside the town hall. Picture: Virgin Sport - Credit: Archant

Organisers of this year’s Hackney Half Marathon offered free yoga, running warmup and even a drum performance to passers-by outside the town hall last night.

Virgin Sport’s chief exec Mary Wittenberg was there to help step up publicity for the race on April 30.

She said the company is particularly proud of its association with Hackney.

“This is the number one place we wanted to [sponsor a race],” she said. “People come out and stand in front of their homes to cheer.

“It’s got such a spirit to it – that community spirit is everything.”

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The company has plans to work in Hackney again. It’s the first time Virgin Sport has sponsored the event, which was branded last year as Vitality Run Hackney.

“Over time I really hope we can engage the artistic community here, to help create visual and musical art and food,” she said.

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“The more we can support, connect, and call attention to people here all year round – that would be great.”

The Hackney Half, part of Virgin Sport’s “Festival of Fitness” that also includes shorter races, is on April 30.

It will wind its way around famous borough landmarks including Hackney Downs, the Hackney Empire and Broadway Market.

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