Hackney Half

9:00am Sun 17th May 2020
Hackney Marshes Centre, Hackney Marsh, Homerton Road, London E9 5PF, UK
Run 13.1mi
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Secure your place

Charity places available

Experience the electric atmosphere of the Hackney Half Marathon. Runners of all stripes will love this course through the best that East London has to offer, supported by live bands and entertainment aplenty. This isn't just a race - it's a full-on festival.
  • Road
  • Closed roads
  • Flat
  • Finisher’s medal
  • Finisher’s t-shirt
  • Sold out last year
  • 20000 participants

From the organizer

Organizer's website

Run your way through vibrant East London on flat and fast city streets. The cheering crowds will carry you past highlights like the Hackney Downs and the Hackney Empire, plus there will be live bands and DJs at every mile to keep you going. Cross over the finish like into a full festival of fitness on the Hackney Marshes. Just like the borough, this route brings the spirit.

Distances in this event

  1. Half Marathon

    Run 13.1mi
    9:00am Sun 17th May 2020
    Charity places available
Course Maps
What’s Included

Standard Entry includes free race photos, a technical finisher tee, a medal and a goody bag full of swag, as well as some great pre and post-race entertainment in the Fitness Village.

Half Marathon Plus Perks Entry and Team Challenge Entry includes all that with Standard Entry as well as posh loos, private baggage check and race day hospitality.

There will be eight aid stations on the Half Marathon route at; 1.5, 3.25, 4.75, 6.25, 8.25, 9.5, 11.25, and 12 miles.

Download the new Virgin Sport app from Apple and Google Play stores to keep up with the latest. Track runners, see the schedule of events, get helpful transportation directions and even check the weather – all with a simple tap.

Course Details

Cruise down Mare Street through a carnival of sound, pass by the famous Town Hall, head through the historic Broadway Market, and then take in Hackney Wick, which is flush with vibrant street art. Explore green spaces including Haggerston and Downs Parks, cross over twelve canals and rivers, and enjoy a panoramic view of the Olympic Park.

Raceday Logistics

There will be thousands of runners, fans and supporters heading to Hackney Marshes for the Virgin Sport Hackney Half Marathon. With a record 20,000 runners taking part this year, it is strongly recommend that you arrive at the Hackney Marshes AT LEAST ONE HOUR before the race starts.

07:00 Festival Village & bag drop opens

08:10 Half Marathon warm-up

08:25 Runners head to start pens


10:05 First half marathon finisher

10:45 Prize-giving at finish line

13:15 Half marathon last finisher and race cut-off

15:30 Festival Village closed



Stratford Station: Central & Jubilee Lines, & National Rail (25-minute walk to the Festival Village through Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park). Please note the due to engineering works there will be no service on the DLR between Canary Wharf and Stratford.

Leyton Station: Central Line (20-minute walk to the Festival Village).

London Overground

Homerton Station: London Overground will be running 4 additional services per hour from 07:00 – 09:00 in each direction, between Camden Road & Stratford. Homerton Station is the closest station and is a 15-minute walk to the Festival Village. From 09:00 onwards the usual Sunday timetable will be in operation.

Clapton Station: London Overground (30-minute walk to the Festival Village).

There will be signs and marshals wearing high visibility vests to guide you from Stratford, Leyton and Homerton stations to the Festival Village on Hackney Marshes.


If you are planning to cycle, there will be numerous bike parking facilities within the Festival Village.

To secure your bike to the rack you need to lift the bike up and position the front part of the saddle over the metal bar.

Please note bikes will be left at the owner’s risk. To secure your bike to the racking please bring an appropriate cable or chain lock.


Westfield Stratford City (E20 1EJ) is a 25 minute walk to the Festival Village. There are 4,500 spaces available. For prices, check their website:

Kit List

For safety reasons, it is suggested that you run without music so you can stay alert and aware of your surroundings and other runners. This way you can also soak up the energy and atmosphere and unplug!


Virgin Sport Hackney is a festival of fitness for every body. Spectators (or as we like to say, spectathletes) can take Go Fit Yourself bootcamp style classes led by London’s leading fitness instructors, or chill out at one of our dedicated Fan Hubs. Once the hard work is done, it’ll be time to celebrate just as hard with local food, flavours, beers, entertainment and more. Get your entry now!


Get involved with Virgin Sport and the local host city community! It takes a village to make our events incredible, and everyone is welcome to join us. There are lots of roles available during the race and street party experience, so there is something to suit everyone.

In return for volunteering, you'll get a breakfast or lunch, a Virgin Sport event cap and FREE entry into a Virgin Sport event within one year (subject to minimum age limits that apply to each of our events).

Visit the Virgin Sport website for further details.


How do I get my race pack?

Depending in your ticket option, race packs will either be posted to you can collect it from the Festival Village in Hackney Marshes. Dates of collection will be Friday 17th and Saturday 18th May.

Can I have a friend collect my race pack

If you can’t make it to the Festival Village before the race, you can have someone collect it for you.

The person collecting does not need to be participating in the race. They may pick up race materials for a maximum of 3 registered runners. Please note, the person collecting the race pack on behalf of the runner(s) must have:

– A copy, screenshot or photo of the registered runner passport/driving license

– An email or printed copy of the registered runners confirmation email (which should have been emailed to the runner when they registered).

Is there an age limit?

Yes. You must be at least 17 years old to participate in the Hackney Half Marathon.

When do entries close?

Entries are capped for the Half Marathon and registration will close as soon it's full - so be quick!

Hackney Half Team Challenge

Why not enter the Hackney Half as part of a team. A minimum of 4 tickets is required to enter the Hackney Half Team challenge.

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Reviews (45)

4.6 out of 5 stars

  • Course
  • Organisation
  • Atmosphere
  • Did the Half Marathon in 2018

    i Have done 4 half marathons and by far this is my favourite. Beating Paris, Wimbledon Common and Birmingham. Organisation was amazing and the support ALL around the course helped me to get a PB!!!
  • Did the Half Marathon in 2019

    This was my second year running this event and I absolutely loved it. From bib collection to crossing the finish line, the Virgin team go out of their way to put on a great experience. A combination of the weather being cooler this year, and the fact I had actually done some training leading up to to the race, helped me shave a couple of minutes off my time and set a new PB. Looking forward to coming back next year. And last but not least, as always, The Princess of Wales is the perfect post-race pub.
  • Did the Half Marathon in 2019

    I highly enjoyed the Hackney Half this year! It was my second half and it was a completely different experience to the first. The atmosphere was amazing and really carried me round the course. i ended up knocking 20 mins off my first one last year. I highly recoment the Hackney half to anyone looking for a good fun run to do - it was brilliant fun and i really felt that i achieved something! Looking forwad to doing the 2020 one already!
  • Did the Half Marathon in 2019

    A really fun and well organised race. Everything from the pre-race communication through to super easy bag drop (and collect) made it simple. Good food and drink options, clear meeting points etc. so logistically there was zero stress. The route was great and well supported throughout. It's pretty flat with a few ups and downs but a good entry level race which suited me perfectly. The location is a bit tricky to get to as it was a reasonable walk from the jubilee line.
  • Did the Half Marathon in 2019

    Perhaps I'm a little spoiled with the scenery around South West London but the HH course was a little drab and empty in places early on. This was made up for by the troops of supporters down the line who were fab (shout out to the Run Dem Crew station and the GoodGym water station). There are a few unsuspecting hills particularly towards the end so be prepared for that. The water stations are really slow (i.e. lots of people queuing for them) but I think that's more a symptom of the huge number of people running which also makes it so awesome!
  • Did the Half Marathon in 2019

    A great day with great people! More loos on the course would be great and in the festival village... but aside from that it was excellent and the volunteers are amazing! Well done to people making it happen for others!
  • Did the Half Marathon in 2019

    Brillant day well supported and my kids loved all activities after. defo doing next year. Oh i got a Pb too. fab defo recommend.
  • Did the Half Marathon in 2019

    For the groups, there seemed to be no organization or control. Basically I was mixed in with 3 to 4 other letters and had no clue what pace to keep, it just seemed like you didn't even need to wait you could just queue. In the beginning of the ran, the very beginning, there were a lot of walkers and as a runner this is frustrating because you have to then weave through people. Then the pacers, at one second I am behind someone at 2:10 and then I pass them and I was at a 2:20, and it just didn't seem like it was clear and obviously we were all mixed so you couldn't really tell. I didn't like the full running in the streets that was not exactly what I expected, especially since we started in a large park. Lastly, I was marked as did not finish when I most definitely finished and received a message giving me my time, I wrote to the organisers over a week ago and no one has responded to me or updated my time. I doubt I will do this specific half marathon again.
  • Did the Half Marathon in 2019

    Great for first timers (like myself), the course is pretty flat and it has a great atmosphere until mile 11. then you mentally struggle to keep going because it is so quiet. the festival village has lots going on and you get loads of goodies and a free massage.
  • Did the Half Marathon in 2019

    Amazing event. More than a race... it’s a melting pot of fun, people, culture and music. One of the best half marathons you can do. Still buzzing a week after! Do it!!

Questions & answers

Get answers from our team or a member of our dedicated community.

What would you like to know about this event?
  • R

    Rosie 4th Apr
    Can I collect my pack before the day of the event ?


    Steph E4th Apr
    Hi there. Just to let you know that you can collect your race pack on the Friday or Saturday. Good luck!

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