The 2024 Royal Parks Half Marathon Ballot Is Open Until February 9

Runners in the Royal Parks Half Marathon run past the Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens, London
Runners in the Royal Parks Half Marathon run past the Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens, London (Image credit: Royal Parks Foundation)

The ballot for the Royal Parks Half Marathon 2024 is now open, and you have until 5pm on Friday February 9 to get your name into the hat for a spot in the race, which takes place on Sunday October 13.

It’s free to enter the ballot, but you can increase your odds by paying for your place up front, which means you then enter a second-chance ballot if you’re unsuccessful in the first draw. If you miss out again your entry fee will be donated to the Royal Parks charity.

In 2023, organizers told us there was a one-in-seven chance of being successful, and with 16,000 set to run the course again the odds should be similar. 

The results of the main ballot will be announced on Wednesday February 14 and if successful you then have to register your place by Thursday February 29. The results of the second-chance ballot will be announced on Wednesday March 6 and you have Monday March 11 to claim your place. That gives you plenty of time to plan your training. Choose one of our 16-week half marathon training plans, for example, and you’ll start on June 24. 

There are, of course, other ways to secure a spot. There are plenty of charities offering places in the Royal Parks Half Marathon in return for fundraising, with the official list being confirmed in February. Even if you do get a place through the ballot, it is well worth raising any funds you can for charity. 

The Royal Parks Half is one of the UK’s best half marathons and one of London’s most scenic. While the London Landmarks Half Marathon in the spring also runs through central London and takes in sights such as Trafalgar Square, only the Royal Parks takes runners through Hyde Park, Green Park, St James’s Park and Kensington Gardens.

While the route narrows somewhat through the parks, making it less attractive to PB hunters who may find themselves held up in congested stretches, the atmosphere and support make it an event every distance runner should have on their bucket list.

Enter the ballot | Free to enter, race place £62, plus £4.95 admin fee

If you’re in the mood to enter half marathons, the Great North Run ballot is open until February 12.

Nick Harris-Fry
Senior writer

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.