On the Route
The details shown on this page are based on how the organization
was the year before.
If you know of any changes please send a
mail to keep your fellow
runners up to date. - thank you
2019 again contains a slight alteration at mile 19 (Canary Wharf).
The blue and red routes converge just before the 3 mile marker.
For the next half mile both groups continue to use their own
Runners from the green start merge with the blue route at
600 meters on from the blue start nature's equipment for men
provides a clear advantage. Built like a bypass parallel to the
road there is an endless pissoir. To enter at the front and to
leave at the rear men could do it jogging.
But on route you will find 500 portaloo toilet cabins. From mile
2 onwards, every second mile they are clearly signed "TOILETS
200 METERS AHEAD" and at the place "TOILETS HERE".
Timing On The Route
Since 2002 the organizers have provided chip times only. On
route you will get your time every 5K, and at Halfway. Time is
taken at various other distances just to check nobody is
Every single mile is cleary marked by big banners on both sides
of the road. And at every mile (except 26) there is a digital
clock to show race time.
Also clearly marked are the distances in kilometers every 5K and the
Halfwaypoint. Every single kilometer is marked by a small sign.
From mile 3 to 25 there are water stations at every mile. At
both sides of the road they offer Nestlé water (not sparkling).
It is served in pre-opend plastic bottles of 330ml.
At mile 5, 10, 15, 19, 23 Lucozade Sport is offered, this is an
Energy Drink in pre-opend plastic bottles of 330ml.
There are no more provisions offered by the organizers. However
the excited spectators very often present cookies, fruit, coke
etc. to the runners.
When approaching the drink stations please make sure that you do
not alter your direction suddenly. Most times it will be
advisable to use not the first table but move on near to the end
of the station where it won't be crowded.
... is provided by St. John Ambulance around the course. Their
sites are mostly close to the drink stations. If you are in
trouble ask officials at the drink stations for directions to
the nearest medical point.
You will notice the helpful St. John people while they are
offering Vaseline to the runners.
Within its 31 years the London Marathon had to face 9
fatalities. Please, check your health regularly.
.. are provided six times along the route at mile 9, 13, 17, 19,
22 and 23,5. They are designed to run through, so you don't have
to run a diversion. The showers are signed in advance by
"SHOWERS 200 METERS AHEAD".
the roads are closed only to provide a finish within 5 hours.
However, the organizers seem to stretch this as long as they
can. But you might be asked to keep to the footpath if you are
determined to finish.
The finish officials will still be there
until 7.30pm to take your time and give you a smile.
... drives behind (in) the field at the speed of a
7-hour-runner. Your running number works as your underground
ticket in case you have had enough before approaching the finish
At the Isle of Dogs (just when it begins to hurt) there are 8
stations of the Dockland Light Railway, and at Tower Bridge
resp. Tower you find a tube station. If you have the bad luck to
have to stop already at Greenwich, there also is a DLR station.
The highlights (1)
The first famous sight along the route you will reach at mile 6
in Greenwich. Here the spectators stand at both sides of the
road in several rows. Cutty Sark is no longer circled by the
runners due to reconstruction works.
During the following part the race gets calmer leading through
less attractive suburbs, until suddenly after mile 12 you find
yourself approaching Tower Bridge. Here not only the crowds are
waiting for you, media workers film and interview running VIPs
and funnily costumed runners. Leaving Tower Bridge remember to
pose for your individual photo.
Passing the Tower Bridge one turns right, which might be a bit
tricky for your mind as the finish lies to the left. Most of the
runners will spot fast competitors on the other side of the
road. They have already completed the long circle along the Isle
of Dogs and are 9 miles in front of you.
you keep up with 8min/mile speed you will be happy to meet the
elite men at half-way-point flying in the other direction on the
other side of the road. They have already run 22 miles. The
women elite start 45min earlier (9.00am) and they have disappeared
around the peninsula Isle of Dogs sometimes is described as
tiring and boring. I found it tiring but still entertaining.
The road narrows
and let you take in the atmosphere as you pass several pubs with
live music. Then you pass under Canary Wharf Tower. On the way
out of the isle you have to ascend slightly.
Approaching the Tower again have in mind that the runners on the
other side of the road still have to do 9 miles more than you.
The Highlights (3)
With the Tower behind you the route descends into a big tunnel.
Another place to shout again what sounded to me like
Ogi-Ogi-Ogi, oi-oi-oi (no idea what the meaning is), but
meanwhile the running heroes got a little calmer.
What follows is long straight stretch along the Embankment, the
broad road parallel to the Thames, until finally you are happy
to see Big Ben and to turn right in direction of Buckingham
Now even the most tired runner should raise his head, and the
final mile is pure enjoyment, passing Westminster Abbey,
shuffling along Birdcage Walk to proceed to the front of
Buckingham Palace. A final right turn at the royal victorian
fountain and you will appreciate to see the finish line just in
front of you.