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Fri 6th Dec 2019
London's first official half marathon
Posted by: Annie Emmerson
Posted on: Wednesday 23rd January 2008

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At the O2 Arena yesterday, with the support of Stomp, the percussion, movement and visual comedy band, 'Run to the Beat' London's first official half marathon event was launched. The event, which will take place on Sunday 5 October 2008, will start and finish at 02 Arena, London's premier music venue.

It may not be a triathlon, but there is a connection. The race organisers are IMG Mass Participation Sports, the race organiser behind the Mazda London Triathlon. Unlike no other half marathon, Run to the Beat, will be the first half marathon done to music. Speaking at the launch Nick Rusling, Managing Director of IMG Mass Participation Sports, said; "Run to the Beat is a unique idea for the fitness and running world. It is London’s first half marathon; it will be the first event that brings music into the heart of a running event and we are working with global specialists to help us deliver what will be a truly inspirational event for the lucky 10,000 people that take part.”

Also at the launch was breakfast presenter, Harriet Scott from associate sponsor, Heart 106.2, who lent her support to the new event by kick-starting her New Year’s training schedule at the launch. "I'm delighted to be the Ambassador for London's first half marathon. It's a fantastic idea and in aid of a very special cause,” commented Harriet. “I'm already looking forward to getting over that finish line!"

Leading cancer charity, Leukaemia Research, the event’s official charity partner, is offering entrants the chance to Go Bananas on the day by joining their Banana Army, the charity’s official running team. Spoony, the well known DJ and celebrity supporter of Leukaemia Research who was also supporting the launch said: “I’m excited to be involved in Run to the Beat - an event that brings music and sport together and encourages everyone to step up to the challenge! Why not run for Leukaemia Research and help beat blood cancers?”

To ensure the success of this revolutionary fusion of sport and music, organisers of Run to the Beat have teamed-up with Dr Costas Karageorghis of Brunel University’s School of Sport and Education whose research over the past twenty years has found that listening to music can increase sporting performance levels. Dr Karageorghis explains: “The athletes’ demographics and the relationship between heart rate and music tempo are key to maximising the psychological benefits of music. When carefully selected, our research shows that music can help increase performance levels quite profoundly.”

“I will ensure that the tempo and rhythm of the music contour the physiological demands of the event – to provide athletes with the additional motivation needed to pull a great performance out of the bag or even just to help them enjoy the experience a little more,” said Dr Karageorghis.

Dr Karageoghis will ensure a variety of live music acts from London are strategically positioned to perform at the correct location along the route to create an inspirational impact on competitors’ personal bests, or to even just help them get round. Taking place in the London Borough of Greenwich, runners will go past three 2012 Olympic venues as they complete the course.

Chris Roberts, Leader of Greenwich Council, said "We are proud to be hosting 'Run to the Beat', which promises to become a major event in the sporting calendar.
“This event is just the latest example of our determination to use Greenwich's role as a host borough for London 2012 to build participation in sport at alllevels."

To find out more or register to take part, visit the event website: Entry fee is £30 per person.