The sight of thousands of runners pounding their way along the streets of London is an incredible sight – and one that happens every spring, for this is the London Marathon. This year it will be held on Sunday, 28 April 2019.
It is extremely popular and attracts vast numbers of people to watch, and cheer on the runners. The fastest runners take around two hours to complete the 26.2-mile course from Greenwich to Buckingham Palace. Many roads are closed around the route, and adjacent areas can get very crowded – so if you are not planning to watch the Marathon, it is best to avoid places on en route.
The London Marathon always starts in Greenwich Park, overlooking the river Thames. To get there, it is very easy from Regency House Hotel London due to its perfect central location. The setting is spectacular, high on a hill. Once the starting signal is given, runners pound their way downhill into Blackheath, before turning westwards and through Bermondsey to Tower Bridge. Having crossed the bridge, the runners then head eastwards again through Docklands, heading for the Isle of Dogs. Once round the Isle of Dogs, they start the return journey into the center of London passing the Tower of London, heading for the Mall and Buckingham Palace where their medals await them. Competition for the fastest time is intense among the top runners. This year, that competition is likely to be even more stunning as three of the top runners in the world are taking part – Sir Mo Farah, Eliud Kipchoge and Kenensia Bekele.
For charities, the London Marathon is a major fundraising activity. Many runners choose to run in fancy dress, publicizing and raising funds for their chosen charity. Costumes in previous years have included superheroes, animals, a London Bus and a giant Shoe. There has even been a ‘Gorilla’ who crawled the entire length of the route. It took him six days to complete the journey, but he succeeded and raised £23,900 for the Gorilla Organization.
Around 40,000 runners take part in the London Marathon. This represents just a fraction of the numbers of people who would like to take part. 253,930 people applied for spaces in the 2019 Marathon. Participants range from professional athletes to beginners and celebrities. Princess Beatrice, Gordon Ramsey, and Chris Evans are among the many celebrities who have taken part in the London Marathon over the years.
It is not an easy course to run and requires considerable stamina and running skills. Participants train for many months, keen to achieve the best time possible.
If you're after an elegant hotel for the London Marathon, then book a stay at hotels in Covent Garden London that can help take the stress out of your big day.