This month the London Marathon takes to the capital’s streets. In 2016 the London Marathon makes history; the millionth finisher of the race will cross the finishing line and is being celebrated with the hashtag #oneinamillion focusing on those who have run the Marathon itself.
It’s one of the most famous races in the world. Thousands of spectators line the capital’s streets as the runners set off from Blackheath and Greenwich Park, passing some of the city’s most famous landmarks including Canary Wharf, Tower Bridge, the Cutty Sark, St Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye and finishing on the Mall by Buckingham Palace.
Covering 26.2 miles the 40,000 runners are a mixture of amateur and professionals. Many run to raise money, a feat which has seen the marathon itself enter the record books, holding the Guinness World Record for the largest annual fundraising event in the world. It’s raised £450 million for charity since it started. In 2009 the participants raised £47.2m for charity.
The Marathon is always popular with visitors to London, who line the route and cheer the runners along. For Clarendon guests who are visiting the capital, whether on business or pleasure, the marathon is the ideal tourist activity.
There are four start times to the marathon this year; 0855, 0900, 0915 and 1010. The first two times are wheelchair competitors, the second paralympic runners, the third is elite women runners and the elite men at the last slot, as well as the thousands of amateur runners who take part.
Most roads are closed on the day of the marathon. The big tourist spots are where the biggest crowds are drawn; so Greenwich town centre, the Cutty Sark, Tower Bridge and the Mall for the finish line. Race organisers recommend Tooley Street to Tower Bridge for Mile 12 over London Bridge, where the race passes underneath, or Canary Wharf and the Isle of Dogs. There’s also a special Thames Clipper river bus where viewers can buy special tickets to see the race from the Thames. It runs every 20 minutes to and from 15 central London piers. For those wanting to know where a specific racer is, a family member or friend, then the London Marathon 2016 website lets you search for a runner by their surname and running number, It’ll tell you exactly where they are.
For those staying in London who haven’t seen the Marathon before it’s worth seeing, especially as they are in central locations, it’ll be close by.