Road closures planned for the Hackney half marathon
- Credit: Archant
Thousands of supporters are expected to line the streets on Sunday, to cheer on the 11,000 runners pounding the streets for the Virgin Sport Hackney Half Marathon.
The 13-mile route which starts and finishes at Hackney Marshes, passes by some of Hackney’s parks and landmarks, including the Hackney Empire.
Starting at 9am from Hackney Marshes, runners will pass by Hackney Downs, Mare Street, Broadway Market in London Fields, Victoria Park Road, and onto the Olympic Park before crossing the finish line back in Hackney Marshes.
Elite runners are expected to finish just after 10am with most participants expected to compete the course between 10.45am to 11.45am.
Anyone needing to travel on Sunday morning is urged to plan well in advance, as many of Hackney’s streets will be closed from 7am.
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They will re-open once runners have completed each section and it is safe and feasible to do so, with most roads open by 2pm.
Live music is planned along the route for a carnival-like atmosphere, and there will be music, refreshments and family entertainment at the ‘Virgin Sports Festival of Fitness’ in the race village on Hackney Marshes.
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Here there will be free fitness classes from boxercise to yoga, hula-hooping with Marawa’s Majorettes, and football workshops with Coats and Goalposts.
At 1.20pm 1,250 local primary school children will complete the final 1.1 miles of the Schools’ Challenge, which has seen them all running a mile a week ahead of the event to clock up 12 miles before race day.
Numbers are down on last year when 15,000 runners took part.
A spokesman for Virgin Sport - which has taken over from Vitality which organised the first three events - said: “I think moving the date behind the London Marathon hasn’t helped the numbers. It was June last year but people found it too hot so we are trying to find that middle ground.”
The price has also risen to £53 to cover the cost of the Marsh festival.
The Gazette’s advertising managers Peter Bailie and Patrick Dunne and our nature correspondent Will McCallum from Greenpeace are taking part to raise money for the Hackney Winter Night Shelter.
Open for five months each year, November to March, the shelter provides dinner, bedding and breakfast for dozens in Hackney who would otherwise be on the streets.
Sponsor Gazette runners Patrick, Peter and Will: bit.ly/gazetterunners.