Yeah, we know, you’d think that a marathon is just a marathon. Some people running long distances with people cheering them on. But the TCS London Marathon is one of those events that has evolved into something much more. Eagerly awaited by beginner and long-time marathoners alike, the marathon brings out the best in Londoners as everyone gathers together to support great causes as well as those participating in the marathon itself. But as such, it can be difficult to navigate the affair, so here’s our London Marathon guide.
1. A guide to the basics of The London Marathon 2022
The TCS London Marathon takes places on Sunday, October 2. Kind of important to know that. The 26.2 mile route takes participants from the start in Blackheath, past the Cutty Sark, over Tower Bridge, and through Canary Wharf, before finishing on The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace. Kicking off at 8:50 AM, the last runner is expected to have crossed the start line by 11 AM. Those who manage to finish the marathon will cross the finish line on The Mall, and receive a finisher’s medal, New Balance finisher’s T-shirt, and some drinks and a snack to aid in recovery.
2. Support for London Marathon runners
Throughout the London Marathon’s history, hundreds of vision impaired and blind runners have taken on the momentous route. In a nod to those runners, and to support their 2022 contemporaries, braille banners are being brought to the London Marathon. Sports retailers Wiggle and New Balance will be bringing the banners to the most notoriously difficult stretches of the route – Miles 20 and 23 – with messages of support to encourage these runners when they need it the most. The banners will allow this years 35 vision impaired and blind runners to quite literally feel the support of the spectators.
3. Travelling to, and during, the marathon
Knock-on effects from the strike on October 1 will see considerable delays and interruptions in the morning of the marathon, and potentially throughout the day. Coupled with road closures and service halts, runners are being advised to travel to London as early as today (September 30) depending on where they’re coming from. Keep an eye on how you’re getting to the start line – and spectators will want to plan plenty of time to travel between spectator points, and to the finish area.
4. Recycle your way to a spot in the marathon
It’s no secret that plastic water bottle waste can be a bit of an issue when hundreds of marathon runners make their way around London. Buxton is looking to change all that, this year, by recycling up to 700,000 bottles through Buxton recycling bins at the start and end of the course, as well as along the route. Each bin will also have a QR code that recyclers can scan for a chance to win a highly coveted space in the 2023 London Marathon. It really does pay to recycle!
5. Promotions for those participating in the marathon
A number of businesses around London will be offering discounts and freebies to marathon runners in support of their gargantuan undertaking. Many will post on the day, so keep an eye on socials for your favourite restaurants, cafés, and pubs, to find out what might be on offer. Busaba Thai, for example, will be offering a free Pad Thai or Rice bowl if participants show their medal at Busaba Soho, St. Christopher’s Place and Hoxton. MEATliquor will be offering up a choice of any meat, vegetarian, or vegan burger from their menu for any runners – just flash the medal at any of their nine locations to grab a meal. Other participating restaurants and venues include LEON (through the LEON Club app using code LEONMARATHON), Bills (across all 11 London restaurants), and any of the five London Brasseries across the city.
6. Getting home
London Marathon participants can also take advantage of free travel up to 6:30 PM on the London Underground, Overground, buses, DLR, and cable cars. Because you’re definitely not jogging home, right? Right?
7. What about next year?
When you get home, you’re sure to simply collapse into bed or onto the sofa and sleep for three days. But, looking ahead to next, registration will have opened the day before on October 1. Will you do it all over again?