It’s not easy to run a full 26.2 miles, especially through the streets of London. If you’re not taking part in the London Marathon this year on the 22nd April, there are many people who are who will be needing your support to help them make it through the gruelling journey. But with such a long course, where are the prime viewing spots to see all the runners and spot all the fantastic costumes?
Show your support from the sidelines by heading to one of the best places to watch the race:
The starting line
While this may not be the best place to see every single individual runner, the atmosphere at the start line in Greenwich will be electric. With three different starting locations to choose from – the elite men, elite women and mass race all start in slightly different locations – you’re sure to catch all the buzz and excitement.
Make sure to get down to the start line early so that you can get a good spot. If you’re up early enough, you may catch the start of the elite wheelchair races at 8:55am and the World Para Athletics Marathon World Cup ambulant races at 9am! Get there by 9:15am to see the start of the elite womens race, and then both the elite mens and the mass race start at 10am.
The 6-mile mark
If you’re not prepared to cram into the crowds at the starting line, but still want to see the runners nearer to the beginning of the race, mile 6 may be the best place for you! Not only does the distance mean that the runners will be more spread out, so it may be easier to spot someone you’re there to support personally, but it’s also a great place to see all the weird and wacky costumes before they inevitably fall apart.
The runners in the mass race should start to pass through this point at around 10:45 so it gives you plenty of time for a lie-in or a spot of breakfast before you head over!
The 12-13-mile mark
The second of our prime viewing spots appears just as the runners will be making their way across Tower Bridge. If you manage to get there with enough time to spare, you’ll be able to get some great photographs of the runners storming past you over the iconic landmark.
Not only that, but you may also be able to see the runners come by a second time, if you’re standing in the right place! The central reservation of Tower Bridge is perfectly positioned so that you can see the runners just as they’re completing their 12-13 mile but also when they come back over for mile 22!
The 16-17-mile mark
We’re backtracking a little simply because mile 16 is the point where the race really starts to get exciting. With only 10 miles to go, you’ll be able to see as the elite runners begin to put on bursts of speed. You never know… you could see the runner who’ll go on to win the marathon!
Just a mile up the road is another prime viewing spot – perfect for those with children. If you’ve got some time to kill before a parent or family member runs past, why not entertain the kids with a visit to Mudchute Farm? Not only are there goats, llamas, rabbits and pigs to see, but also a cafe famed for its breakfasts, as well as the opportunity to see the race twice when the runners loop round the Isle of Dogs.
The 24-mile mark
If you’re wanting to watch the mass race pass by around lunchtime, there’s no better place to stop than Fuller’s The Banker. With a pint in your hand, you can watch all the great costumes and dedicated runners trickle past and offer your support. Let’s hope the weather’s good!
Also, at this point, runners will be travelling through the underpass – this is a great place to sit and watch as they emerge into the daylight into the final 2.2 mile stretch to the finishing line.
The 25-26.2-mile mark
By this point, the runners will be running mostly on the energy of the crowd so it’s definitely a great point to stop and show your support for everyone taking part. As the runners are also much more spread out and visible now, you’re likely to be able to catch a good glimpse of your loved ones as they fly past on their way to the finish.
To meet them after they’ve finished, simply head for the alphabetical meeting points in Horse Guard’s Road and Horse Guard’s Parade.
It’s amazing to be a part of the London Marathon, even if you’re not running it, just to feel the energy and excitement and cheer everyone on. Quick hint for those wanting to see the marathon in a completely different way – why not jump onto the London Eye and view the race from a birds-eye perspective!
If you’re already raring to register for the 2019 London Marathon, you can do so here after the race has finished.