Virgin Sport Hackney Half

9:00am Sun 19th May 2019
Hackney Marshes Centre, Hackney Marsh, Homerton Road, London E9 5PF, UK
Run 13.1mi
  • Official booking partner of Virgin Sport
  • Registration Perks
  • Best price guarantee
  • Free cancellation protection
  • 24/7 Support

Secure your place

Tickets £54–£92.95

    Registration Perks
  • Best price guarantee
  • Free cancellation protection
  • 24/7 Support
  • Official booking partner of Virgin Sport
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 19th May 2019
    Tickets 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 (28)

4.2 out of 5 stars

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

    After a few years, the hackney half is a damn good race now. The event village is impressive, the route is nice and has some very nice east London locations covered, the crowds are also amazing. East London is a place very proud of itself. Nice t-shirt as well.
  • Did the Hackney Half in 2018

    This is a very good race. Good route taking in some great landmarks and parts of Hackney and very well organised.
  • Did the Hackney Half in 2018

    Did this with my sister as her first every half marathon and it was brilliant. The support all the way around is incredible and the app so spectators can see exactly where you are and come to find you was awesome. Sister had a great time and is now looking for her next half marathon and will try to find another Virgin event. There are a lot of runners and it can get pretty congested so not sure it's necessarily the best race for a PB but the support is amazing and, for a first timer, it really is the perfect race
  • Did the Hackney Half in 2018

    A really great race, absolutely loved the atmosphere, it was like a mini London Marathon! Lots of lovely people lining the streets cheering you on. It was a really hot day but they had lots of water stops and Nuun electrolyte drinks. Really worth the price. An absolute cut above other races in organisation, atmosphere and number of entrants. It was a proper festival with food stands, music and a main stage. Bag drop was super slick, always a huge queue for the loos but generally everything was extremely well organised. Course is definitely 'undulating' though!
  • Did the Hackney Half in 2017

    Though London courses are never the most beautiful, but Virgin Sport do an incredible job of making an awesome vibe - having the beer tents, music and general Hackney 'hipster' vibe of course helps with this - loved the new addition of the 'ramp of doom' as well to the race! Though it did feel a little on the pricey side, it didn't overly bother me as the party directly afterwards makes a whole day of it - how many things like this can you do in London for cheaper these days anyway?! Overall I highly recommend it, and a real chance to post a decent time whether just starting your running journey or competing to be your best!
  • Did the Hackney Half in 2017

    Loved this race last year! Such an awesome atmosphere along the whole route with bands everywhere and huge crowds. The event village afterwards was great. Would probably get my vote for the best half marathon in the country - worth the premium price.
  • Did the Hackney Half in 2016

    Really great atmosphere with crowds and music around the course. It was SO hot that year, but there were loads of drink stations, which kept us going!
  • Did the event in 2018

    I was awarded a freebie to this race through Asics and was really impressed.
    Real community based event and the local crowd support was fantastic throughout.
    With the number of participants, the toilet queue was always going to be long which they were.
    The last part of the course around the Olympic stadium is quite bumpy with a few up and downs but other than that I felt it wasn't that bad.
    You get a good goody bag and t-shirt at the end and you have a DJ blasting out some tunes throughout the day which seemed to bring a load of the local community to Hackney marshes to participate in the event so all in all a real good day
  • Did the event in 2018

    Third attempt of this course and each time I forget... it’s not flat. The first few miles are on a slight incline and there are a couple of unfriendly bumps (yes, I hate hills of any kind), but despite this, it’s quite a nice course. Community spirit is usually out in full force, although this year it seemed more quiet than usual. Running through the shops area was as entertaining as ever, more costumes in the supporting crowd than amongst the runners (the devil offering booze was a hit) but there are some less supported areas that could do with a bit of entertainment added. The High5 gel station was an added bonus, but still have trouble with the drinks in cups situation. The sheer amount of people in the area near the finish saw bottlenecks and impatient spectators climbing fences and crossing roads across the path of runners which at times was a bit dangerous and rath annoying, but the race shouldn’t be judged by some people’s lack of common sense, although a bit more marshalling action would have been useful.It’s a rather expensive half, and not even the post run goodies makes up for that. The rewards area and exit was a bit chaotic, but the bag drop and toilet situation is pretty good and plenty of refuelling options at the after-race festival. Bring a friend to mind the bags, take a picnic/bottle of fizz and enjoy the post-run buzz at the fitness festival afterwards. Just don’t forget that there’s quite a long walk back to the station when you’re done.
  • Did the event in 2018

    First timer and I enjoyed the fast and (not) flat course. They weren’t really prepared for the 20k runners as there were not enough toilets and facilities. The organisers could have probably done with starting the event at 10 or even 0930 as it was a real push for a lot of people to get there on time with a reduced train service running on a Sunday to Stratford and then the 25 min walk. The course was good, the crowds were a bit quiet in places just standing there which was odd. It is definitely hillier than advertised which I don’t mind but why say it’s flat and fast? The finish and then the exit was well organised with nice bling and goody bag. Overall I’d say it’s a good event defo one to do but I just wish they’d set everyone off a pinch later so you aren’t rushing and get more toilets!

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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