The iconic London Marathon returns to England’s capital city this weekend having been virtual in 2020, and the event will mean road closures and changes to public transport
The iconic Virgin London Marathon will return to its rightful home this weekend after an absence of 18 months.
The 2020 Marathon was made ‘virtual’ due to impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, with almost 38,000 runners designing their own routes in an effort to rack up 26.2 miles.
Entrants have been given that option again this time around, but there will still be 45,000 runners taking to the streets of England’s capital city for the 41st edition of the world-famous event.
And aside from professional athletes, there are some high-profile celebrities taking part, with double Olympic gold medalist James Cracknell, former 5,000m women’s world record holder Zola Budd, and Virgin Radio DJ Chris Evans all set to take to the start line.
The event will be televised live on BBC and spectators have been asked to watch from the comfort of their homes this year, with the UK still guarding against rising case numbers of Covid-19. Spectators who do come out to cheer and support have been asked not to gather in large groups.
Inevitably, the event will mean travel disruption for London residents, and those coming elsewhere, so here’s our guide of what to be aware of:
For how long will the roads will be closed?
Roads will be closed across south east and central London between 4am and 7pm.
Will public transport be affected?
In short, yes.
Buses in central London and Greenwich will terminate early, or be diverted, from 6.30am to 7.30pm.
Buses travelling on roads affected by the Marathon will either be diverted or will not run the full length of their route until after the event. To further details, visit tfl.gov.uk/bus/status.
London Underground, London Overground and the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) will all have extra services on Sunday, and will be by far the best option for getting around. Tube services in central areas will be running as normal, although are likely to be extremely busy. The Jubilee, Circle and District lines, and DLR, have stops in close proximity to the Marathon route and are likely to be busier than usual.
Will the river services still be running?
Yes. Thames Clippers will be running services from central London to Greenwich Pier, where it’s just a short walk to the start at Greenwich Park. For more information, visit thamesclippers.com.
Can I still cycle around London?
Yes, but some Santander Cycles docking stations located on the Marathon route will be suspended from Saturday evening until Sunday evening.
I need to park my car overnight on Saturday. What should I do?
Organisers have asked that vehicles are parked off the route on the evening of Saturday, October 2. Vehicle removals will start at 6am on Sunday, October 3, along the whole of the route. If your vehicle is relocated by event contractors, you’ll have to visit trace.london to find it.
More information on road closures and public transport is available on the event’s virtual travel guide.