Royal Parks Half Marathon 2016: What Went Down


ROYAL PARKS HALF MARATHON 2016: WHAT WENT DOWN

On Sunday 9th October, #TeamRunnersNeed took on the famous Royal Parks Half Marathon. As a retail partner, we had the opportunity to set up shop in the race village and offer runners and spectators both a shopping opportunity and a bit of pre and post-race support. 


The Royal Parks Half is a coveted race, regularly described as one of the best half marathons in the UK. With over 16,000 runners taking part, we were excited to see what the 2016 edition of this race would offer us. We’ll tell you exactly what went down, what we enjoyed the most and what it’s really like to be a giant shoe for the day.

Race Village

Having arrived the day before to set up the Runners Need tent, we made our way to the race village bright an early on Sunday morning. With racers and spectators expected to arrive from 7:30am onwards, we were ready (with coffee) to kick off the excitement and hear all about why people are running this year.

 

We were keen to know why 16,000 people would take on 13.1 miles, so we put together a #WhyImRunning board for runners to share their reasons. If anything, it was a great opportunity to clear those pre-race nerves and remind themselves why they were there. 

Race Start

With so many people taking on the Royal Parks Half, it’s no surprise that the start line was buzzing with excitement. The elites looking nervous, focused and reading to be chased down by a sea of excited runners waiting to cross that start line and take on the miles.

 

Team Runners Need were also racing, with some serious success stories. We didn’t just want to be there to support in the spectator zones, but out on the course too.  3 members of the Runners Need team took part; Sam, Mark and Marlon.

 

With such a high volume of runners, it took quite some time to clear the start pens and get everyone over the line. As is always the case at #RPH, there were a number of pacers in each pen, all surrounded by those runners chasing down a PB. Others, were there to soak it up and make it to the finish.

 

They’re off! And with only an hour until we expected the first finisher, it was time to count how many trainers we’d collected in our #RecycleMyRun bins before heading to the finish line.

Recycle My Run

The Royal Parks Half marked the start of our #RecycleMyRun campaign. Runners, supporters and spectators had the opportunity to bring their old trainers along and exchange them for a £20 voucher to purchase their next pair in any Runners Need store. The response was fantastic, and we walked away with X bags full of old shoes, ready to be recycled. You can read more about our campaign here, and how you can get involved.

 

Our campaign stand even captured the attention of BBC news presenter Sophie Raworth.

On the Run

What’s a half marathon without a giant pair of trainers? #TeamRunnersNeed roamed race village dressed in our very own pair of (huge) trainers. We were on hand for those essential post-race selfies and keeping spectators and kids entertained. Lucy, our left shoe, made the most of the ‘let me guess, you’re personal trainers’ jokes and all the hugs too.

The Finish Line

First place went to Russ Best in an incredible 01:09:37, followed shortly after by the first female finisher Rose Harvey in 1:21:20. The elites were then followed by the rest of the relieved runners, excited to see the finish line, collect their unique medal and have a rest!

 

Team Runners Need were extremely successful, with Sam Barnes taking a top 10 position in a time of 1:16:38.

 

And that’s a wrap! A successful day for half marathon runners, shoppers and the launch of #RecycleMyRun. A huge congratulations to all that took part, your reasons for running have left us feeling inspired. Thanks for having us Royal Parks Half, see you next year!

Image credit (including article feature image): Royal Parks Half Foundation & rb create


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