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VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

08 THE LONDON MARATHON COURSE


The Start
Blue Start at Blackheath, Shooters Hill Road
Elite Wheelchair races - Men & Women
IPC Athletics Marathon World Championships
Elite Women
Elite Men
British Athletics & England Athletics Championships Men & Women
Ill & Injured
UK Athletics Clubs
Ballot runners
Overseas runners
Red Start at Greenwich Park, Charlton Way
Golden & Silver Bond runners
Guaranteed runners
Fast Good for Age runners
Green Start at St. Johns Park on the edge of Blackheath
Good for Age runners
Celebrities, Politicians & Media runners

The Course
The London Marathon course is relatively flat and fast. It starts in Blackheath, heads east through Charlton
and Woolwich for three miles, turns west to pass through Greenwich and past the Cutty Sark ship between six
and seven miles. It crosses the River Thames at Tower Bridge just before half way then loops around the east
end of London, through Mudchute and Docklands, before heading west again along The Highway and Victoria
Embankment to Parliament Square, Birdcage Walk and the final corner in front of Buckingham Palace.
The first London Marathon finished on Constitution Hill between Green Park and Buckingham Palace. From 1982
until 1993 the race finished on Westminster Bridge. But in 1994 repair work to the bridge meant the finish line
was moved to The Mall where it has remained ever since.
In 2005 the course was altered just after 22 miles to avoid the cobbled area near the Tower of London, and the
route around the Isle of Dogs between 14 and 21 miles was switched from clockwise to anti-clockwise. In 2011
runners did not pass Cutty Sark at six miles due to restoration work following a fire. The traditional route was
restored in 2012. This year a section of the usual route near Canary Wharf is out of use, so runners will instead
climb up to the roundabout at Westferry Circus between 18 and 19 miles, and briefly run on Aspen Way before
they reach Poplar High Street between 19 and 20 miles (see the attached map).

An Historical Jog Around Londons 26.2 Miles


Mile 3 The runners pass the Woolwich Royal Artillery Barracks which has the longest Georgian facade
in Britain. This was one of three 2012 Olympic Games venues in Greenwich borough.
Mile 6 On the runners left is Inigo Jones Queens House built in 1616 for Anne of Denmark, James
Is wife. On their right is Christopher Wrens spectacular architectural creation, the Royal Naval
Hospital. Runners pass prime meridian in front of the National Maritime Museum, which was the
start line for the Tour de France in July 2007.
Mile 6.5 The runners loop around the Cutty Sark, the famous tea clipper built in 1869, which held the
record for the fastest loaded voyage from Australia to London carrying wool.
Mile 8.5 The runners reach Surrey Docks and, for the first time, the London Docklands area. This was the
only dock complex built south of the river Thames. The first dock opened in the early 1700s and
several more were built between 1807 and 1926. Only two of the docks survived a programme
of in-filling in the 1970s before the Docklands Development Corporation was set up in 1981. The
Surrey Quays Shopping Centre opened in 1988 next to Canada Water, followed by a new station
on the Jubilee Line.

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VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

Mile 9.5-10 The route passes Greenland Dock and new residential areas, as well as the Surrey Docks City
Farm and the four star Holiday Inn. This is next to Nelson House, built in 1740 as the home of a
wealthy ship-builder.
Mile 10.5 The route passes within 250 metres of the Mayflower public house. It was here that the Pilgrim
Fathers originally assembled to set sail for America. They ran out of money and the ship was
moved to Plymouth to avoid mooring dues.
Mile 12

As the runners approach Tower Bridge they pass by Butlers Wharf, an old warehouse converted
into business offices, apartments, Sir Terence Conrans Gastrodrome and the Design Museum.
Tower Bridge was built in 1894. All the original machinery for raising and lowering the drawbridge
is still in place. It has never once failed to raise the 1,000 ton bascules.

Miles 13-14

Once over Tower Bridge, the course turns eastwards along The Highway towards Docklands,
passing St George-in-the-East (built as a result of the 1711 Coal Tax and designed by Nicholas
Hawksmoor). The Highway was formerly known as the Ratcliffe Highway and was inhabited by
sailors. The literary figure Thomas de Quincey wrote in 1827 that the Ratcliffe Highway was a
public thoroughfare in the most chaotic quarter of eastern, or nautical, London.

Mile 14

The route passes near the western entrance of the mile-long Limehouse Link Road Tunnel
(opened May 1993), built by the London Docklands Development Corporation under Limehouse
Basin, home of the Cruising Association. It links through to the Isle of Dogs. The herring gull
sculpture on Narrow Street is by artist Jane Ackroyd. To the right is the Grapes pub, a listed
building constructed in 1720 which was originally a tavern serving the workers on the Limehouse
basin. There are unsavoury stories about the antics of watermen in the pubs along this stretch.
As a child, the author Charles Dickens was made to stand on tables and sing to the customers.

Mile 15

Runners pass under Westferry Circus and on to Westferry Road which takes them down to the
tip of the Isle of Dogs peninsular, originally known as Stepney Marsh. The earliest reference to
the area as the Isle of Dogs is on a map of 1588. It was given the name because King Henry VIII
kept his hunting dogs there. Dykes and windmills were constructed by Dutch engineers in the
17th century to drain the marsh.

Mile 16

East Ferry Road is on an area of the peninsular called Mudchute, formed in the 1840s from the
spoils of the Millwall dock excavation. Silt from its channels and waterways was dumped on
nearby land, creating a Mudchute. It is now home to the biggest inner city farm in Europe.

Mile 18

Competitors passing by the former City Pride pub, sadly now demolished, can see runners
still heading east three miles behind them on the other side of the road. This year runners will
continue at this point and run up to Westferry Circus before turning right to pass through the
Canary Wharf Estate.

Mile 19

Runners pass the base of the 800ft tower, One Canada Square, sited at the centre of Canary
Wharf, one of the largest single business developments in the world. Built into the West India
Dock, which opened in 1802, the estate covers 97 acres and consists of 34 office buildings
and some 16 million square feet of office space. More than 105,000 people work on the estate,
including approximately 7,500 people in the main tower itself. More than 3,000 shops, bars and
restaurants are now open in three retail malls.

Mile 20

When the East India Dock Road was built, Poplar High Street became a little-used back street
a quaint straggling length of gabled houses, many built of wood, little gardens and trees in
front of many of them, almost every second house an inn, beer house or place of refreshment.
In the High Street was St Matthias Church, the old East India Company chapel, and also a
quaint building, Poplar Hospital, a home of refuge or hostel for the East India Companys aged
seamen. Much later, at the narrow end of the street, was the Queens Theatre, a very popular
music hall and one of the last old theatre buildings to survive in east London.

Mile 21

Commercial Road was constructed in 1802/04 to link the East and West India Docks with
the City. St Mary & St Michael is a Catholic church of 1856 built to serve the Irish navvies and
dock workers. The health centre is in the premises of the former East End Maternity Hospital.

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Mile 22

Runners pass St Katharines Dock, with wonderful views of Thomas Telfords 1828 warehouses,
and the Tower of London, the turreted castle-cum-prison founded in 1066 by William the
Conqueror and now officially known as Her Majestys Royal Palace and Fortress.

Mile 23-24

Into the City of London, past Billingsgate Market, no longer the fish market of London but still
retaining three feet of perma frost created by centuries of cold stores on the site. Since 2008 this
area has been where the Mini London Marathon starts.

Mile 24

Cleopatras Needle, one of a pair that originally stood at Heliopolis in Egypt. Its twin stands in
Central Park, New York, just a few feet from the New York Marathon course. Neither of them
has any connection with Cleopatra. On the opposite side of the Thames, runners can see the
Southbank Centre, including Festival Hall, the National Theatre, Haywards Gallery and the
National Film Theatre. Further on is County Hall, once home of the Greater London Council, and
the London Eye.

Mile 25

Up ahead is Parliament Square and Big Ben, a sign that the race is almost over. There is now
just a mile to go as runners turn right into Great George Street and Birdcage Walk.

Mile 26

The runners turn past Buckingham Palace to reach the finish in Londons great ceremonial
avenue, The Mall.

Course Pace Guide


Mile
Location
Road
1st IPC WC 1st IPC
Elite
Elite
3:30 Pace 4:30 Pace 6:00 Pace Road

Closes
Wheelchair
W Champs
Women
Men Opens

Pace per mile

00:03:26
00:05:32 00:05:21 00:04:46 00:08:00
00:10:17 00:13:43
0
Start
07:00 09:00:00 09:05:00 09:20:00 10:10:00 10:10:00
10:10:00 10:10:00
1
Shooters Hill Road
07:00
09:03:26
09:10:32 09:25:21 10:14:46 10:18:01
10:20:17 10:23:43
14:00
2
Ha Ha Road
07:00
09:06:52
09:16:04 09:30:41 10:19:32 10:26:02
10:30:34 10:37:26
14:00
3
John Wilson Street
07:00
09:10:18
09:21:36 09:36:02 10:24:18 10:34:03
10:40:51 10:51:09
14:00
5km
07:00 09:10:40 09.22:10 09:36:35 10:24:50 10:34:50 10:42:00 10:52:40
4
Woolwich Road
07:00 09:13:44 09:27:08 09:41:22 10:29:04 10:42:04 10:51:08 11:04:52 14:00
5
Woolwich Road
07:00 09:17:10 09:32:40 09:46:43 10:33:50 10:50:05 11:01:25 11:18:35 14:00
6
Trafalgar Road
07:00 09:20:36 09:38:12 09:52:04 10:38:36 10:58:06 11:11:42 11:32:08 14:00
10km
07:00 09:21:26 09:39:20 09:53:10 10:39:40 10:59:40 11:14:00 11:35:20
7
Creek Road
07:00 09:24:02 09:43:44 09:57:24 10:43:22 11:06:07 11:21:59 11:45:48 14:00
8
Evelyn Street
08:00 09:27:28 09:49:16 10:02:45 10:48:08 11:14:08 11:32:16 11:59:32 14:00
9
Surrey Quays Road
08:00
09:30:54
09:54:48 10:08:05 10:52:54 11:22:09
11:42:33 12:13:15
16:00
15km
08:00 09:32:00 09:56:30 10:09:45 10:54:30 11:24:30 11:46:00 12:18:00
10 Salter Road
08:00 09:34:20 10:00:20 10:13:26 10:57:40 11:30:10 11:52:50 12:26:58 16:00
11 Brunel Road
08:00 09:37:46 10:05:52 10:18:47 11:02:26 11:38:11 12:03:07 12:40:41 16:00
12 Jamaica Road
08:00 09:41:12 10:11:24 10:24:07 11:07:12 11:46:12 12:13:24 12:54:24 16:00
20km
08:00 09:42:40 10:13:40 10:26:20 11:09:20 11:49:20 12:18:00 13:00:40
13 The Highway
08:00 09:44:38 10:16:56 10:29:28 11:11:58 11:54:13 12:22:41 13:08:07 19:00
13.1
Half way 08:00
09:45:00 10:17:30 10:30:00 11:12:30 11:55:00 12:25:00 13:10:00
14 The Highway
08:00 09:48:04 10:22:28 10:34:48 11:16:44 12:02:14 12:32:58 13:21:50 19:00
15 Westferry Road
08:00 09:51:30 10:28:00 10:40:09 11:21:30 12:10:15 12:43:15 13:35:33 19:00
25km
08:00 09:53:20 10.30:50 10:42:55 11:24:10 12:14:10 12:50:00 13:43:20
16 Westferry Road
08:00 09:54:56 10:32:32 10:45:30 11:26:16 12:18:16 12:53:32 13:49:16 19:00
17
East Ferry Road
08:00
09:58:22
10:39:04 10:50:50 11:31:02 12:26:17
13:03:49 14:02:59
19:00
18 Marsh Wall
08:00 10:01:48 10:44:36 10:56:11 11:35:48 12:34:18 13:14:06 14:16:42 19:00
30km
08:00 10:04:00 10:48:00 10:59:30 11:39:00 12:39:00 13:22:00 14:26:00
19 North Colonnade
08:00 10:05:14 10:50:08 11:01:31 11:40:34 12:42:19 13:24:23 14:30:25 19:00
20
Poplar High Street
08:00
10:08:40
10:55:40 11:06:52 11:45:20 12:50:20
13:34:40 14:44:08
19:00
21 The Highway
08:00 10:12:06 11:01:12 11:12:13 11:50:06 12:58:21 13:44:57 14:57:51 19:00
35km
08:00 10:14:40 11:05:10 11:16:05 11:53:50 13:03:50 13:54:00 15:08:40
22 The Highway
08:00 10:15:32 11:06:44 11:17:33 11:54:52 13:06:22 13:55:14 15:11:34 19:00
23
Lower Thames Street
07:00
10:18:58
11:12:16 11:22:54 11:59:38 13:14:23
14:05:31 15:25:17
19:00
24 Upper Thames Street 07:00 10:22:24 11:17:48
11:28:14
12:04:24 13:22:24 14:15:48 15:39:00 19:00
40km
07:00 10:25:20 11:22:20 11:32:40 12:08:40 13:28:40 14:26:00 15:51:20
25 Victoria Embankment 07:00 10:25:50 11:23:20 11:33:35 12:09:10 13:40:25 14:26:05 15:52:43 19:00
26 Birdcage Walk
07:00 10:29:16 11:28:52 11:38:56 12:13:56 13:38:26 14:36:22 16:06:26 19:00
26.2
Finish
10:30:00 11:30:00 11:40:00 12:15:00 13:40:00
14:40:00 16:10:00

(1:30 pace) (2:25 pace) (2:20 pace) (2:05 pace) (3:30 pace) (4:30 pace) (6:00 pace)

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Lines, Times & Drinks Stations


The Blue Line
The London Marathon has a number of tight corners and winding sections of road. It is essential, therefore,
that leading runners know where to run to complete the shortest possible route. A dashed blue line is put down
before the race by a professional road marking company Wilson & Scott (Highways) Ltd. It takes five to six
hours of intensive work to paint the line in its correct place and it can be only be done at night and when the
roads are dry.
The paint Tempro has to dry almost instantly and has to be stable enough to last for three days without
fading. To satisfy police and local highway authorities, it also has to be quickly removed. Tempro can be washed
off the road with a special non-polluting solvent and gallons of water. The removal team takes about six hours to
wash off the paint. By 19:00 on race day, all traces of the blue line are gone.

Mile & Kilometre Markers


There are digital clocks set on seven-foot stands at all the mile points, at every 5km mark and at half way: 35
double-sided clocks in all. All the clocks around the course will be started at precisely 09:20 for the elite women
and again at 10:10 for the elite men, the UK championship races and the massed runners of the London
Marathon. Official timing is provided by Timex.

Time Keeping
The London Marathon uses Ipico Timing Tag technology to time all runners in the race, including the wheelchair
and IPC athletes, and competitors in the Mini London Marathon.
All runners will be issued with an Ipico tag, a transponder they attach to their running shoe. This chip is read
each time the runner passes over strategically placed mats at 5km, 10km, 15km, 20km, half way, 25km, 30km,
35km, 40km and at the finish line. These times are instantly relayed using an integrated communications system
developed by Marathon ITS, the marathons information services provider, to BBC Sport for immediate on-screen
display. The same information is also delivered to the marathons race day press centre to provide an instant
resource for the worlds media.
There are also official time keepers at the 30km mark to time runners in both the mens and womens races for
30km record validation purposes.
All results will be posted on the London Marathon website on race day.

Drinks & Drinks Stations


Dehydration is the biggest problem most marathon runners have to overcome. In a hard race on a hot and humid
day, up to four litres of fluid can be lost through sweating and exhalation. It is important for runners to keep well
hydrated.
Water supplied by Buxton Natural Mineral Water is available at every mile point starting from mile three with the last
water available at 25 miles. Around 750,000 25cl plastic bottles of water have been supplied to meet the needs of
the marathon.
In addition to water, Lucozade Sport is available at the start and at 5, 10, 15, 19 and 23 miles. Lucozade Sport
comes in 380ml 100 per cent recyclable bottles. Lucozade also supplies Lucozade Sport Gels at 14 and 21
miles.
Many of the elite runners prefer to drink their own special drinks during the race. These pre-prepared bottles are
collected on Saturday night and kept in secure and cool conditions overnight. On race day they are taken to
the appropriate 5km points. At these feeding stations, eight in all, there will be four numbered tables allocated
between the various elite athletes from which they will collect their special drinks bottles.

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