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Thousands of runners return to The Royal Parks and enjoy a brand new route

London’s most stunning half marathon returned in-person on October 10, following a year where the event went virtual due to the pandemic. More than 10,000 runners completed a brand new 13.1 mile route, starting on one of the world’s most iconic roads – The Mall.

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November 2, 2021

Image of runners at The Royal Parks Half Marathon

For one year only, The Royal Parks Half Marathon, presented by Royal Bank of Canada, started at the east end of The Mall, near the Admiralty Arch and led runners past London landmarks, including Trafalgar Square, Canada House, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament within the first three miles. Participants also ran through four of London’s eight Royal Parks – Hyde Park, The Green Park, St James's Park and Kensington Gardens.

Lots of on-course entertainment, including four RBC cheer stations - a DJ truck at Wellington Arch, an RBC bunting tunnel, Batalan drummers and a 20+ RBC cheerleading squad close to the finishing line kept runners motivated.

Image of runner with RBC's Leo the Lion

As proud presenting partner of the Royal Parks Half for the fifth year, RBC fielded a team of over 150 runners, including third place winner, Neil McClements and Johnny Alexander who finished eighth. Team RBC joined 71 corporate teams from 79 companies taking part in the RBC Corporate 13.1.

RBC were also delighted to support one of the greenest events in the world. Sustainability is a key priority for the race organisers and all runners were asked to be entirely self-sufficient with their hydration on the day, reducing the waste associated with on-course water stations.

Commenting on the race, Project Lead at The Royal Parks, Persephone Deacon-Cole said: “Despite the challenging climate that mass participation events face in a COVID setting, we’re thrilled to have welcomed everyone back to the Royal Parks Half Marathon, presented by Royal Bank of Canada. This wouldn’t have been possible without my fellow team of organisers at LimeLight Sports, our partners, and sponsors who have all ensured that the race could go ahead and have helped us to overcome various hurdles. Since the Royal Parks inception 14 years ago, our award-winning event has raised £55 million for over 1,200 charities – so we’re happy that we can facilitate amazing fundraising efforts once again!”

Dave Thomas, CEO, Royal Bank of Canada Europe said, “Royal Bank of Canada was proud to return as presenting partner of the Royal Parks Half. After a challenging year for charities and mass participation events alike, it was great to see the half marathon return to some of London’s most iconic streets and four beautiful Royal Parks. On behalf of Royal Bank of Canada, a huge thank you to all the runners raising money for so many fantastic causes, and to the event organisers and supporters!”

Image of runners after The Royal Parks Half Marathon

The Royal Parks Half partnership supports RBC’s commitment to help clients thrive and communities prosper. In addition to the Half, RBC Europe partners with a number of community projects, charity partners and responsible organisations to raise money for worthwhile causes, protect the environment and support local communities.