Royal Parks Half and Ultra Marathons

Most London runners with an email address received an email today alerting them to the fact that the Royal Parks half marathon ballot is now open. Have you entered? You haven’t?

Here: Royal Parks half marathon ballot.

By all accounts it’s a beautiful route to run, and a rare opportunity to do so, considering it takes you through central London on a regular Sunday.


half route


If you’ve done a half marathon before, or even (especially) if you haven’t, this looks like a great one to do. In fact, I can only think of one reason that you wouldn’t want to do it.

The Royal Parks Ultra

This will hopefully be my excuse for not doing the Royal Parks half marathon, and I think it’s a good one. It’s the word ‘Ultra’ that sells it: Ultra marathon, Ultrabook, Ultra Mel custard.


Custard is amazing. And so must be the feeling of completing a 50km ultra, especially one that takes in so much of central, historical London, as well as five of its eight Royal parks.

  • Hyde Park
  • Green Park
  • St James’s Park
  • Richmond Park
  • Bushy Park

By the looks of it, the ultra route also crosses the Thames seven times over seven different bridges. Don’t make me list all the historical sites along the way…

As of now – 28 January 2013 – there are 250 days until race day. That’s plenty of time to train to run either the half or the ultra, so I can’t think of any excuses for not getting involved.

The ballot for the half marathon closes on 6 February, so click to enter now. Otherwise you’ll just have to do the ultra.


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