Before 2022, it’d been a few years since I’d run the Hackney 5k – 2015 since I last wrote about it on the blog – but some things don’t change. Like the weather – it’s the Hackney 5k and Hackney Half Marathon ‘curse’.
For 2023, I registered for the 12midday wave, again, of the Hackney 5k and figured if I made it, it’d be a nice change from parkrun and on a little more sleep! In hindsight, knowing about the Hackney curse, running at 12midday wasn’t the best idea, but it got done.
Running Tip: Don’t forget to pop on your suncream before you head out. While you’re making or eating your breakfast is a great opportunity.
Hackney 5k 2023
Hackney 5k has always been billed as a community event, to get those involved in the weekend who don’t wanna take on 21km. It’s a free event which makes it accessible to everyone and you get the whole race experience with a medal, water etc.
In previous years when I’ve been running the half, it’s also made for a good shakeout run the day before and the perfect opportunity to test the weather and make your final kit choice.
Race Pack Pick-Up
I don’t remember if race packs were posted out previously (I think they were), but for the last couple of years, we’ve had to collect bibs on the day for the 5k. In 2022, I registered through Let’s Do It and received no information about the event until 5pm the evening before when I got a text with a QR code.
This year in all fairness, I got a couple of emails with a race day guide inc a link to the QR code and an additional text message.
So I rocked up, queued, showed my QR code and got given a race number. Bag drop was virtually empty and took 2 minutes, and the portaloos were a-plenty. By the time we were heading to the race start, the queue for the half marathon race pack pick-up was horrendous though… and remained that way up until I left the site around 3pm.
Running The Hackney 5k Route
Unlike the half marathon, the Hackney 5k is solely set on Hackney Marshes, which has always meant a mix of pavement and grass makes up the course.
Since 2022 though, it seems there is more grass than ever before, which I’m not a massive fan of – see below for comparison.
Considering how hot the weather was on the day, there was not one water station on the 5k course. We did however get a very much needed can of water once we crossed the finish line.
2022: I didn’t see any photographers on the 5k route, only one at the end and if I didn’t grab Shak and place us in front of the camera, we wouldn’t have any photos from the event. Finding the photos was another ordeal too. I’m not a fan of the Let’s Do It app so I was forced to download it and register to be able to access the photos.
2023: Again, no photographers spotted on the course but a couple were spotted at the finish funnel. I’ve no idea yet how, if or when we get access to those images.
Overall though, it’s a great little 5k course, but it’s just a little narrow at some points especially the first 1-2km. I feel like I spent too much energy weaving in, out and around people to begin with.
Hackney 5k Medal
So finally for 2023, they took feedback on board in regards to the medals. Last year was the weirdest thing; everyone who completed the 5k got given a Hackney Half medal, t-shirt and goody bag. I didn’t take a t-shirt as I’m trying to do my bit for sustainability.
What made it even weirder was that the half marathon runners (who paid £50 for entry) didn’t get a t-shirt or goody bag, and like I said, got the same medal as the 5k runners.
If I remember rightly, the same thing happened in 2014, but then they created unique medals for each event in 2015 (see picture below).
For 2023 though, the 5km and the half marathon each have their own unique medals. No goody bags, t-shirts (not even a banana) was available for the 5km runners but I think that’s kinda fair for a free event.
Free race photos for the Hackney Half may still be a thing of the past too!
Hackney Moves Festival
The highlight of the weekend is always the festival atmosphere. With plenty of fitness activities going on alongside food and drink trucks, I realised after my run there was no need to rush back home.
Last year, I spent forever queuing at a calamari food truck before finding friends, Mollie and Sabine, dancing away next to the main stage, with a drink or two, then enjoyed the sunshine for a while longer. This year was no different.
Dates for 2024 will no doubt be announced real soon, so keep an eye out!
Did you run Hackney 5km or half over the weekend?!