On Sunday 22nd April tens of thousands of runners will inundate the capital’s streets for 38th annual London Marathon. More than 39,000 people are expected to finish the race and tens of thousands more will be cheering at the sidelines along the 26.2 mile route. This year the Queen herself will act as official starter of the race, albeit remotely from Windsor Castle.
08:55 – Elite Wheelchair Races
09:00 – World Para Athletics Marathon World Cup ambulant races
09:15 – The Elite Women's Race
10:00 – The Elite Men's Race, British Athletics & England Athletics Marathon Championships and Mass Race
The course is mainly flat and passes many of London’s iconic landmarks. Many parts of the capital will be brought to a standstill, with extensive road closures planned.
The 26.2 mile route starts in Blackheath and heads east through Woolwich for three miles before turning west and passing the Cutty Sark in Greenwich between miles six and seven. It crosses the river at Tower Bridge and then snakes around the Isle of Dogs, past Canary Wharf, before heading west again. The home stretch from mile 23 takes runners from London Bridge, along the Embankment to Parliament Square, Birdcage Walk and finishes on the Mall in front of Buckingham Palace. The finish area is all around St James’ Park and Horse Guards Parade.
Where to watch
Large numbers of people will be heading for the most iconic parts of the route, such as the Cutty Sark and Tower Bridge, so it’s best to avoid these spots. It is also highly advisable to steer clear of Greenwich town centre, and anywhere from Mile 24 to the finish line in the Mall. Those areas will be heaving and public transport will be overcrowded, making it hard to get around.
So which are the best places to choose to beat the crowds?
- Mile 6: best place to admire the costumes
- Mile 13 and 22: doulbe view! near Tower Bridge, get there early
- Mile 17: near Mudchute Park and Farm
- Mile 18: Canary Wharf
- Mile 25 great photo opportunity. Near Embankment
You can download the FREE official Spectators' Guide. The app will give spectators access to mile-by-mile course maps with travel information, a real-time pace guide, profiles on elite and celebrity runners to look out for, a list of recommended pubs on and near the race route, plus lots more useful advice to help you enjoy the day.
There’ll be live coverage on BBC One.
London Marathon Expo
The Expo will run from Wednesday 18 to Saturday 21 April and entrance is free and open to anyone. A multitude of exhibitors are present, showing and selling everything from retro headbands to the latest GPS devices, together with international races, charities, running magazines and a vast range of health and fitness products and services.
The Expo is held at ExCeL Royal Victoria Dock, London E16 1XL