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Royal Parks Foundation to host first London half marathon

LONDON - The Royal Parks Foundation and Limelight Sports have teamed up to host the first half marathon to be held in central London, which takes place in October.

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The inaugural Half Marathon race, which raises funds for the Royal Parks Foundation and UK charities, has signed up food firm Brakes as headline sponsor and Nokia as its category sponsor, and will aim to become a permanent fixture in the UK athletics calendar.

Around 12,500 people are expected to take part in the 13-mile run through London, which begins and ends in Hyde Park, after Limelight conducted a feasibility study and helped develop the concept and negotiate a £1m three-year sponsorship package.

Charities set to benefit from the event include Asthma UK, Blue Cross, National Deaf Children's Society and Unicef, while further sponsors will be announced soon.

London daily morning freesheet Metro has also been signed up as the event's media partner, and will promote the race nationally and encourage participation.

Sara Lom, chief executive officer of the Royal Parks Foundation, said: "This is the first time the foundation has worked in partnership with Limelight and we have greatly appreciated their strategic thinking, creativity and event management skills to help shape our idea and get this major event off the ground."

Ambassadors for the race include former British Olympic decathlete Daley Thompson, rower James Cracknell, former Ireland rugby international Keith Wood, TV presenter Ben Fogle and environmental campaigner Zac Goldsmith.

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