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.
Well that’s what normally happens, but we do not live in normal times. Although the 2019 Marathon was its usual race, the 2020 Marathon was confined to elite runners and was run in St James Park with no spectators.
This year’s marathon unusually run in October rather than April will feature large numbers of runners but crowds are not encouraged and will be restricted in some areas.
The race tends to attract the world’s greatest men and women marathon runners and this year is no exception.
Shura Kitata (ETH) caused one of the biggest upsets in London Marathon history last year when he beat the great Eliud Kipchoge (KEN) he returns this year looking to get his first win on the traditional course from Greenwich to Westminster after a second place (2018) and a fourth place (2019) on his previous two races on the famous route.
But the Ethiopian will face stiff competition with Birhanu Legese (ETH),Mosinet Geremew (ETH), Titus Ekiru (KEN), Evans Chebet, Sisay Lemma (ETH,), Kinde Atanaw (ETH), and Vincent Kipchumba (KEN) in the field.
The British field will be led by Jonny Mellor, Mohamud Aadan, Joshua Griffiths and Charlie Hulson.
World record holder Brigid Kosgei (KEN) is aiming to be the first woman since Katrin Dorre in the early 1990s to win three back-to-back London Marathons.
but there is a large field of talent lining up alongside Kosgei on the Start Line, including Lonah Salpeter (ISR) Joyciline Jepkosgei (KEN), Birhane Dibaba (ETH), Roza Dereje (ETH), Valary Jemeli (KEN), Degitu Azimeraw (ETH), Zeineba Yimer (ETH) and Tigist Girma (ETH).
Charlotte Purdue, who is the fastest Brit in the field and will be hoping to qualify for a spot on the British team for the World Athletics Championships in Oregon in 2022. Other Brits running include Natasha Cockram, and Sam Harrison.
The newly crowned Paralympic marathon champion Marcel Hug (SUI) will be the man to beat as he comes off a dominant Games in Tokyo.
Hug won an incredible four gold medals at the Paralympics in the 800m, 1,500m, ,5000m and defending the marathon title he won in Rio five years earlier. Britain’s David Weir, is racing in his 22nd consecutive London Marathon.
The defending women’s wheelchair champion Nikita den Boer (NED) will resume her battle with last year’s runner-up Manuela Schär (SUI) on the streets of London. Other women in the field include Tatyana McFadden (USA) and Shelly Woods (GBR).
However, for many people the race is a personal challenge and an opportunity to raise considerable amounts for their particular charities. The large number of fancy dress runners add to the carnival aspect of the race.
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.
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 DLR 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.
A short run down along Marsh Wall to South Quay DLR, is followed by a run past the International Hotel and Novotel 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 in normal times due to its proximity to the transport system and over 200 shops, bars and restaurants.
The race then goes out to Poplar and Limehouse to begin the long stretch home.
The event will be televised live on BBC TV and broadcast around the globe.
00:00: Virtual Virgin Money London Marathon (participants must complete the 26.2 miles by 23:59:59)
08:30: Virgin Money Giving Mini London Marathon
08:50: Elite wheelchairs
09:00: Elite women
09:30: Elite men and mass start
TV coverage (subject to change)
BBC2 08:00-10:00: Live coverage
BBC1 10:00-14:30: Live coverage
BBC Red Button/iPlayer 14:30-16:00: Live coverage
BBC2 18:00-19:00: Highlights
Good luck to everyone taking part in the race and everyone who contributes to one of London’s greatest sporting events.
After a very quiet period, we welcome an old favourite back to West India Dock with the arrival of the STS Tenacious tall ship
The Tenacious is a wooden sail training ship which was specially designed to be able to accommodate disabled sailors. Launched in Southampton in the year 2000, it is one of the largest wooden tall ships in the world. It is 65 metres long with a beam of 10.6 metres at its widest point.
The Tenacious and the Lord Nelson are owned by the UK-based charity the Jubilee Sailing Trust who have for many years have pioneered sailing for the disabled.
The Jubilee Sailing Trust became a registered charity in 1978 and was the brainchild of Christopher Rudd, a school teacher and sailor who wanted to give the disabled children he taught the same experiences his able-bodied students had.
Since its launch Tenacious has taken nearly 12,000 people sailing of these 3,000 were physically disabled and 1,000 were wheelchair users.
This weekend sees the return of London’s annual outdoor dance festival over a two-day programme, showcasing performances across the various locations of Canary Wharf. Amongst many delights this year is dance circus on a forest of poles, a fusion of water and dance, acrobatics and juggling virtuosity based on the choreographies of Merce Cunningham.
Candoco Dance Company, “A Graceful Act of Stupidity
Wren Landing, 3pm & 5.15pm, 16 minutes
Join our two flight attendants as they take you on a journey that slips seamlessly between the everyday and the poetic. Brace yourself for a playful, yet poignant flight in this beautiful duet for Candoco Dance Company from New Art Club’s Tom Roden.
Alleyne Dance, “Bonded
Westferry Circus, 2.30pm & 5pm, 30 minutes
This beautiful performance on a strikingly designed transparent stage is created and performed by twin sisters, Kristina and Sade Alleyne, who explore dependency, particularly that of siblings, and how time can change and challenge relationships.
Joseph Toonga/Just Us Dance, “Born to Protest
Columbus Courtyard, 1pm & 3.30pm, 35minutes
This timely production dismantles presumptions about black male and female figures based on intimidation, danger and isolation, revealing instead character traits around fragility, vulnerability and a constant battle to prove oneself.
Joe Garbett Dance, “Doubles
Wren Landing, 1.45pm & 4.15pm, 20 minutes
Table tennis tables become the setting for this collision of dance and ping pong. Watch as the two competitors spin, slide and swerve their way through this playful pop-up performance.
Ofir YuDilevitch, “Gravitas
Jubilee Plaza, 1pm & 5pm, 30 minutes
This highly playful performance combines dance and acrobatics and explores the joy in simply letting gravity take charge. As two acrobats bounce and roll on an outdoor airmat, they realise that no matter how complex their acrobatic feats.
Joli Vyann, “Lance Moi En L’Air
Jubilee Place, 1.15pm & 3.45pm, 25 minutes
This acrobatic dance duet explores the sensitivity and connection between two people which brings about compatible contradictions: can we be strong whilst relaxed? heavy whilst light? grounded whilst flying? or submissive whilst in control?
Gandini Juggling, “LIFE
Cubitt Steps, 1.45pm & 3.45pm, 20 minutes
This love letter to the legendary Merce Cunningham imagines the possibility that one of the greatest figures in 20th century contemporary dance might have choreographed juggling. Featuring music by Pulitzer Prize-winning singer Caroline Shaw and five jugglers/dancers, this is a thrilling chance to preview a major new work due to tour throughout 2022.
Upper level, Canary Riverside, 1.50pm & 4.15pm, 30 minutes
Mayfly explores the fleeting, ephemeral nature of life and how our survival is inextricably linked to our environment. A spectacular fusion of water, dance and song together reminds us that nothing stays the same, but that we can stand up, overcome and create change.
Canary Riverside, 1 & 4.45pm, 44 minutes
This daring dance-circus production from Motionhouse, explores our disconnect with the natural environment: in our modern lives, is the wild still shaping our behaviour? With a design which imagines an urban forest in the heart of Canary Wharf, performers use powerful physicality and incredible feats to move through a jungle of tall poles.
New Adventures, “A Doorstep Duet
Montgomery Square, 1pm & 2.15pm, 10 minutes
Jubilee Place, 3pm, 4.30pm & 5.15pm, 10 minutes
Bank Street Park, 2.30pm & 3.15pm, 10 minutes
Harbour Quay Gardens, 4.15pm & 5.15pm, 10 minutes
A Doorstep Duet follows two everyday people being transported back in time through music and discovering the joy of dancing together in different eras. This unique piece has been specially created to provide a moment of escapism, joy and the sense of connection in these challenging times.
More information at Canary Wharf here