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London Marathon Lowdown

Posted on May 07 2019

Everyone is excited that the Virgin Money London Marathon is just around the corner. Whether you’re planning to run, supporting friends and family, or just fancy soaking up the atmosphere, here’s everything you need to know to help you plan your journey.

When is it

The London Marathon takes place on Sunday 28 April and it has four separate start times. Wheelchair competitors get going at 8.55am, with Paralympians close behind them at 9am. Elite women runners kick off at 9.15 and everyone else begins at 10am.

Anyone competing should aim to be at the start line at least an hour before the race starts to load baggage lorries (which take your belongings to the finish line) and most importantly – warm up!

How to get there

Most people will be starting their race at Blackheath, in South East London, although there are other start points at Maze Hill and Greenwich Park. All locations can be reached in about 40 minutes from Fenchurch Street, via Cannon Hill.

Alternatively, people travelling from South Essex can alight at Limehouse, hop on the DLR towards Lewisham and take another train from there.

Luckily one of the most bustling and exciting places along the route is at Tower Bridge – less than a 10-minute walk away from our terminal station, Fenchurch Street.

Marathon runners travel free on c2c

The London Marathon is a mega-charity event that we can’t help but admire! Not only are these brave runners contributing to all kinds of amazing causes, they’re also putting their bodies through a crazy ordeal.

So, for this reason, we’re letting all runners travel for free on race day. Just show your race number at any c2c ticket office for a free ticket.

Marathon spectator? Save money on your train tickets

Even if you’re not running the marathon, you could still enjoy discounted travel, thanks to our abundance of special fares and offers.

Tips for travelling around

As the London Marathon is, unsurprisingly, rather busy, it can be easy to lose your way. Most of the roads will be closed during this time, so public transport will be your best bet, although walking lets you really soak up the atmosphere! Our top tips are…

Download a transport app, like Citymapper. It’ll tell you what transport options are close to your current location, and help you plan how to get to any destination, giving you route options and even sending you notifications when your bus stop is coming up.

Ask! Londoners tend to shun their stereotypically grumpy demeanours on fun days like marathon day! If you’re unsure of where to go, a friendly bystander will be sure to help you out.

Be savvy if you want to avoid the crowds. Some people love the party vibes found at Greenwich town centre, Cutty Sark, Tower Bridge and The Mall. Other people find it a bit overwhelming. If you prefer a bit of peace and quiet – avoid the areas mentioned above!

Remember, if you’re coming to support someone who is running in the race, you can track them with their surname or running number via the London Marathon website. This will help you plan where you need to get to in order to see them next, and scream support in their direction!

Sometimes mobile phone signal can be a bit wobbly due to the density of people, all trying to get in touch with each other. We recommend having a pre-planned meeting area (there are alphabetised meet-up points near the finish line) in case groups get separated.

Where’s the best place to view it?

This is a contentious issue, and many veterans will fiercely defend their favourite spots.

However, race planners have suggested that the city, with its skyscrapers and futuristic setting, is one of the best backdrops to the action – so head to Isle of Dogs or Canary Wharf to experience the race in the city. (Both reachable via the DLR from Limehouse).

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