Thousands of participants laced up their trainers for RBC Race for the Kids and The Royal Parks Half Marathon.
Blue skies and beautiful sunshine welcomed 23,000 participants at the 2023 RBC Running Weekend held in London in October.
On the first day of the event, 7,000 people took part in the 14th annual RBC Race for the Kids at Hyde Park, raising money for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity (GOSH Charity). On day two, 16,000 runners completed the 13.1-mile Royal Parks Half Marathon.
Saturday’s RBC Race for the Kids saw children who had received treatment at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), together with their families, the public and more than 2,300 RBC employees and their friends and families, tackle the 5km route. This family event was fully accessible and welcomed participants (including dogs) by foot, pushchair, wheelchair and scooter.
Since it began in 2019, RBC Race for the Kids in London has raised £9.5 million for GOSH Charity, including more than £900,000 in 2023. This year’s funds will go towards the charity’s most ambitious fundraising project to date: building a new children’s cancer centre at GOSH.
The London edition of the race is part of a series of 24 RBC Race for the Kids events around the world, all in support of local children’s and youth charities. To date, the series has attracted more than 360,000 participants worldwide and collectively raised more than C$82 million.
On the second day of the Running Weekend, RBC returned as the presenting partner of the Royal Parks Half Marathon for a seventh year. RBC contributed a team of more than 280 runners, including over 150 clients and participants from around the world, including the U.S. and Canada.
The route took runners through four of London’s eight Royal Parks, including Hyde Park, The Green Park, St James’s Park and Kensington Gardens, and past some of London’s most iconic landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square and the Houses of Parliament.
Lively entertainment helped spur runners to the finish line, including four RBC cheer stations consisting of two DJ trucks, a bunting tunnel, Batala drummers and a squad of more than 20 cheerleaders. There was also an RBC photo wall featuring the route map, for the all-important medal selfie.
The Royal Parks Half is widely regarded as one of the UK’s most eco-friendly major running events, and once again gave runners the opportunity to plant a tree instead of collecting finisher’s T-shirts made from recycled materials. Race organisers also encouraged runners to avoid using single-use plastic bottles during the race. To accommodate for this, fill-up water stations equipped with compostable cups lined the route.
The money raised by participants in the half-marathon has a profound impact on international communities, with nearly £65 million raised for 1,200 charities since it began in 2008, including more than £5.4 million for 567 charities in 2023 alone.
RBC also sponsors the Inspire series , which shines a spotlight on five inspirational charity runners and their stories. Additionally, the RBC Champion Award recognises the individual who, out of all the participants, has fundraised the most by gifting them an additional £5,000 to give to their chosen charity.
The 2023 RBC Champion Award winner, Jasmin Owens, was also an RBC Inspire winner. She has raised more than £28,000 for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, in memory of her late husband, Harrison.
“The word got out about my husband’s cancer journey once I started training and fundraising,” says Owens. “Massive support was shown for Harrison.”
“He was treated at the Royal Marsden for over a year and received such incredible treatment. I know the money raised will go towards supporting another family like ours.”
The impact of RBC’s long-term partnerships with both GOSH Charity and The Royal Parks demonstrates how communities and businesses can come together to promote a sense of wellbeing, encouragement and prosperity.
For Dave Thomas, CEO of RBC Europe, RBC Running Weekend is one of the highlights on the RBC calendar. “We’re proud to sponsor RBC Race for the Kids and The Royal Parks Half Marathon,” he says. “It’s always wonderful to see so many colleagues, friends, families and clients, as well as GOSH patients, supporters, and the public, coming together to fundraise for hundreds of fantastic causes, including our long-standing partners, GOSH Charity and The Royal Parks.”
“Thank you and congratulations to everyone who took part, and a special thank you to GOSH Charity, The Royal Parks Charity, and London Marathon Events for the brilliant collaboration behind the scenes to make the weekend so special for everyone.”
RBC Race for the Kids and Royal Parks Half partnerships support RBC’s commitment to helping clients thrive and communities prosper. In addition, RBC Europe partner with a number of community projects, charity partners and responsible organisations to raise money for worthwhile causes, protect the environment and support local communities. Find out more about our charitable activity.