It is safe to say that although Canary Wharf is often in the news, the rest of the Isle of Dogs is seldom the focus of national and international interest. However this always changes on the day of the London Marathon when the normally quiet streets are filled by thousands of runners and thousands of spectators.
This year there is even greater interest with Britain’s Mo Farah making his marathon debut and one of the greatest runners of all time Haile Gebrselassie acting as pacemaker.
Also running will be the world record holder Wilson Kipsang, the reigning London Marathon champion Tsegaye Kebede, the world and Olympic marathon champion Stephen Kiprotich, Priscah Jeptoo, the reigning women’s champion is back and David Weir Britain’s greatest ever wheelchair racers, is going for a record seventh win.
Due to the fact that many people may be unfamiliar with the Isle of Dogs I thought I would do a mini guide to the Isle of Dogs.
The race enters the Island at Mile 15 when it comes onto Westferry Road , this is a long road down the side of the west side of the Island. Lots of shops and a few pubs here and most of the spectators will be locals .
Docklands Sailing and Watersports Centre
Just before Mile 16 you will pass the Docklands Sailing and Watersports Centre which leads into the Millwall Docks and is often filled with small yachts overlooked by the old cranes standing next to the dock.
The sweep around the bottom of the Island takes you near Island Gardens which has wonderful views of Greenwich and the river. Here is also the entrance and exit of the Greenwich foot tunnel.
Going up the East Ferry Road to mile 17 you will see the greenery of Millwall Park on the right and the Mudchute DLR on the left.
Just past Mudchute you will see the entrance to Mudchute Farm and Park ,one of the biggest inner city farms in Europe.
A little further on you have Asda on the right and Crossharbour DLR on the left, then the route takes you further up to Limeharbour adjacent to Millwall Dock and then onto Marsh Wall .
Kaskelot in South Dock
A short run down along Marsh Wall to South Quay DLR, (if you go into the South Dock you will find the tall ship Kaskelot) is followed by a run past the International Hotel to mile 18, there is a quick switchback into the Canary Wharf estate for Mile 19.
Canary Wharf has become a popular watching base for many spectators due to its proximity to the transport system and the over 200 shop, bars and restaurants.
The race then goes out to Poplar to begin the long stretch home.
Some of the benefits of watching the Marathon n the Isle of Dogs is that you can actually watch in comfort rather than being part of the massive crowds in Greenwich and Tower Bridge. You also have easy access to the Transport system and access to many pubs and bars, restaurants.
To make sure you are in the right place at the right time here is rough time guide .
The wheelchair race starts at 8.55am
The elite women’s field: 9.15am
Elite men and mass start: 10am
At Mile 17 (Mudchute )
Approximate times when pass Mudchute
Wheelchairs 9:53 (men), 10:06 (women);
Elite women from 10:45
Elite men from 11:21
The masses from 12:16.