Virgin Sport Hackney Fitness Festival

Virgin Sport Hackney at Hackney Marshes, London, UK - 30 Apr 2017.

Virgin Sport is all about delivering 110% and their first fitness festival did not fall shy of this mark. Alongside the festival was the main event Hackney Half marathon, plus a new 5.5km run which promoted a buy one get one free deal to encourage running with friends. Between the two longer events was the School’s Challenge with hundreds of kids running their final leg of a mile a week for 13 weeks. This was the equivalent to the hackney half marathon.

Giving off the vibe of a music festival, this fitness festival had it all to satisfy your active needs. Whether you’re into the exhausting High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), calming your soul with some soothing Yoga or after a fun method to get fit with a Thriller dance class (my personal favourite), then this festival is the one for you. Even you are not up for running, these extra activities are completely free, so join a session then relax on a deck or bean chair with a great selection of food, beverage and desserts from numerous venues.

The main event of the day was of course the half marathon which was kicked off by the main man himself, Richard Branson. A gruelling 13.1 miles through the streets of London was a good challenge for all involved (hopefully me next year).

I entered the new 5.5km run, named after Virgin Sport’s motto of delivering 110% and found it exhilarating. Having completed the City to Surf in Sydney many years ago I wanted to ease myself back into the running scene with a nice distance I would enjoy. The 5.5km delivered this perfectly with entertainment and crowds along the way pushing you through the pain. Pacers were distributed throughout the runners stated a finishing time if you were to finish alongside them, from 30mins through to jogging or walking. I aimed for the 30min mark, yet overtook the pacer halfway through and finished with a time of 26:57 which I was ecstatic with after not running for some time now. The ap

Virgin Sport Hackney at Hackney Marshes, London, UK - 30 Apr 2017.

proach to the finish line is always a great feeling of accomplishment with everyone cheering you on from the side-line.

Virgin Sport did not just stop at the fitness side of things, with numerous arts and craft activities for kids on the painted PlayBus and Mr Doodle providing some mystic live art installations. Pall Mall Barbers where keeping up the styles with free hair and beard trims and the Flower Appreciation Society where delivering flower headpieces to complete the festival feels.

Whether you’re a fully-fledged runner or after dressing up with friends and having a bit of fun, the hackney fitness festival is for everyone from all ranges of life. Virgin Sport nails the festival theme in a new unique way. I will definitely be attending the Hackney festival next year with an attempt at the Hackney Half Marathon.

Virgin Sport Hackney at Hackney Marshes, London, UK - 30 Apr 2017.

Next up on the calendar for Virgin Sport is the Westminster very British 10k on 9th July 2017, where you will be running through the centre of London as the streets are all yours to enjoy the sites. However, the next half marathon is in Oxford on the 8th Oct 2017 or if you’re up for a trip to the US head to the San Francisco half marathon on the 13th Oct 2017. See all the details here:

Reporter: Daniel Gibson