In pictures: Over 11,000 runners race in Vitality Run Hackney half marathon

The start of the half marathon. Photo Fiona Hanson

The start of the half marathon. Photo Fiona Hanson - Credit: Fiona Hanson

Hackney was buzzing today as elite athletes were joined by club runners and those racing for charity were cheered on by crowds as they ran a half marathon.

Mark Kibiwott, winner of the the Vitality Run Hackney. Photo Fiona Hanson

Mark Kibiwott, winner of the the Vitality Run Hackney. Photo Fiona Hanson - Credit: Fiona Hanson

The third Vitality Run Hackney welcomed a record 11,899 runners who set off from Hackney Marshes this morning at 9am.

The 13.1 mile route took them past some of Hackney’s best kept parks and key landmarks, including the iconic Hackney Empire and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Enthusiastic supporters gathered at the ‘Race Village’ and along the route to cheer the runners on their way.

Mark Kibiwott from team Run Fast was the first to cross the finish line, winning the men’s race in one hour, four minutes and 38 seconds.

Hannah Walker from the same team, won the women’s race in one hour, 18 minutes and 12 seconds.

Official race starter, Olympic track and field British 400m runner Perri Shakes-Drayton said: “The vibe was amazing and it’s such a joy to see so many people of all ages and abilities come together to run.

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“I love to see elite runners excel but it’s even more rewarding to see club runners, casual runners and children taking part too.

“That energy and excitement reminds me why I got involved in athletics.

“It’s been a great occasion and I hope that all those who took part will continue to run for fun and fitness and set themselves new targets to keep achieving great things.”

All half marathon finishers received a chunky medal and a T-shirt designed by Othmane Ennaboulsi from Stamford Hill.

“I really enjoyed designing the t-shirt and wanted to give a sense of achievement of the runners while depicting the colour and vibrancy of Hackney and the event.

“I’m really excited to be named the winner of the local competition and to know that 11,000 runners will be wearing this t-shirt proudly after completing their run.”

Alongside the adult runners, 1,250 youngsters from over 30 local junior schools took on the final mile of their 13 mile schools’ challenge today.

They set off just after the half marathon runners and were greeted by applause from family, friends and teachers as they ran through the official finish gantry.