The Royal Parks Half Marathon, presented by Royal Bank of Canada, is set to take place on Sunday 10 October and, for the first time since 2015, organisers have today announced a new route for the 2021 edition of the race.

The changes will see runners in this year’s event start at the east end of The Mall, near London’s iconic landmark building, Admiralty Arch. Runners will access the start funnel through Green Park, which will then lead them on to The Mall, where the race start will take place.

Within the first three miles, the new route will lead runners past internationally recognised London landmarks including Trafalgar Square, Canada House, the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament, before running alongside Buckingham Place. At this point, participants will re-join the familiar route and make their way into Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, to complete the remainder of the race.

The 13.1 mile run is on closed roads and takes place in four of London’s eight Royal Parks, including Hyde Park, The Green Park, St James’s Park and Kensington Gardens.

The new race route, with a separate start and finish, has been brought in to ensure the event can go ahead in a Covid-secure way and to make it safer for runners to adhere to any social distancing measures, if they are required at the time of the race.

Project Lead at The Royal Parks, Persephone Deacon-Cole, commented: “First and foremost, the safety of the participants taking part in the race is paramount and the change in route will ensure that we can deliver a Covid-secure event adhering to government guidelines and social distancing measures as required.”

She continued, “That being said, the exciting part for us is that the race will now start on one of the most iconic roads in the world – The Mall. It’s an incredible way to welcome 16,000 runners back to our in-person event as they will have the chance to experience such an unforgettable backdrop as they start the race in front of Buckingham Palace.”

The ballot has closed for this year’s Royal Parks Half, but runners can still get a place on the start line by signing up to run for one of the 500 charities who will benefit from the fundraising efforts of those taking part in this year’s event. Team places are also available in the RBC Corporate 13.1 , the team race within the Half.

Now in its thirteenth year, the Royal Parks Half has remained focused on its charitable aims and since the race’s inception in 2008, over £50 million has been raised for over 1,000 charities.

The Official Charity Partners, or Golden Oak charities, of the Half Marathon include Mind, Cancer Research UK, Tommy’s, British Heart Foundation and Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.

To secure a charity place you should sign up as soon as possible as entries close on August 20th.