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Regular readers will know that Canary Wharf and the Isle of Dogs reach national and international prominence when the London Marathon winds its way through the streets. Another sporting event arrived in Canary Wharf today with the cycle section in the London Triathlon.
The main section of the Triathlon is taking place at ExCel Exhibition centre and in the Royal Docks. Triathlon is one of the fastest growing sports and up to 13,000 triathletes were expected to take part in the London Triathlon making it the world’s largest triathlon.
Part of the appeal of the event is that caters for all ages and abilities. There is also a wide variety of distances to try.
Distances: 400m swim, 10km bike, 2.5k run
Distances: 750m swim, 20km bike, 5k run
Distances: 1.5km swim, 40km bike, 10k run
Distances: 1.5km swim, 80km bike, 10k run
Distances: Sprint – 750m swim, 20km bike, 5k run or Olympic
– 1.5km swim, 40km bike, 10k run
Distances: Olympic – 1.5km swim, 40km bike, 10k run
Distances: 750m swim, 26k bike, 5k run
Youth Super Sprint
Distances: 400m swim, 10km bike, 2.5k run
If you are around Canary Wharf, why not give the triathletes some support as they cycle around the course.
On a cold and damp morning on the Isle of Dogs, there was still plenty of expectation as people awaited the arrival of the 2015 London Marathon. One of the benefits of watching the race on the Island is that you can watch the runners go down Westferry Road and watch them return on Marsh Wall before they go into Canary Wharf.
In the women’s race, the favourite, American Tatyana McFadden was already well in the lead as she reached the 18 mile post.
Next to arrive were the IPC World Championships which featured contests for visually impaired athletes and single leg amputees.
All the main competitors were at the front when the elite women arrived, Edna and Florence Kiplagat, Mary Keitany and Priscah Jeptoo are the top four women marathon runners in the world and were expected to contest the finish.
In an equally strong field for the men’s elite field In the men’s race, Reigning champion Wilson Kipsang, world record holder Dennis Kimetto was joined at the front by Eliud Kipchoge and Stanley Biwott.
It is estimated that record numbers are expected to run the 2015 Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 26 April, after more than 38,000 registered for the race.The previous record was set in 2012 when 37,227 started and 36,705 finished the race.
But what makes the London Marathon unique is the thousands of club athletes, fun runners, celebrities, and fancy dress costume wearers.
Millions of pounds are raised by these people who chase their own personal targets, whether measured in pounds raised, or hours, minutes and seconds on the clock.
Each has their own story to tell of what has inspired them to undertake the gruelling 26.2 miles marathon, one example is Maame Baryeh who is running for the London Community Foundation who are trying to make a difference to the lives of Londoners by connecting people who need help with those who are willing to give, if you like to donate to this particular London cause, here is the link here .
Congratulations to all those who took part and all the volunteers who make the London Marathon, the special event it is.
London Marathon on Isle of Dogs Map
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 fields are considered the strongest to contest the race. In the women’s race, Edna Kiplagat ,a double world champion sprinted to victory on The Mall last year, beating Florence Kiplagat. The two Kiplagats will meet again in April when they face Mary Keitany, who won the London Marathon in 2011 and 2012.
British interest will be centred on world record holder and three-time London champion Paula Radcliffe who will use the race to say farewell to marathon running.
Whilst in the Men’s race, former world-record holder Wilson Kipsang will defend his London Marathon title against fellow Kenyan Dennis Kimetto, the man who made history last year when he broke Kipsang’s record to become the first man ever to run 26.2 miles in less than two hours three minutes in last year’s Berlin Marathon. Kipsang will be attempting London Marathon history by becoming only the fourth man in the event’s 35-year history to claim a hat-trick of London titles.
The Kenyan pair are just two of the great runners in a men’s elite field which include the legendary Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele, the triple Olympic track gold medallist, and multiple world-record breaker.
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 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 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 on 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 09.00am
The elite women’s field: 9.20am
Elite men and mass start: 10.10am
At Mile 15 (Westferry)
Wheelchair men 09:51 Wheelchair women 10:00
Elite women 10:28 Elite men 10:40
Mass begins 11:21
At Mile 17 (Mudchute )
Approximate times when pass Mudchute
Wheelchairs 9:58 (men), 10:08 (women);
Elite women from 10:50
Elite men from 11:31
The masses from 12:26.
A few weeks ago, Aspen Way just behind Canary Wharf was thronged with spectators watching the Tour de France flash by, today there was not the large crowds but a British Tour de France winner with Sir Bradley Wiggins contesting the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic .
The Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic is the final event of the Mayor of London’s festival of cycling.
Other top cyclists in the field are 2012 World Champion Philippe Gilbert, Laurens ten Dam and Steven Kruijswijk, 19th and 15th respectively in this year’s Tour de France, plus five medallists from the Commonwealth Games – Luke Davidson, Tom Scully (both gold), Shane Archbold (gold and bronze), Scott Thwaites and Aaron Gate (both bronze).
After a rainy thundery morning, the sun shone as the cyclists made their way from the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford down to Aspen Way before going into Central London and then into the Surrey Countryside.
The finish will be in the Mall between 5.30 and 6pm.
In a previous post this week I give some details of the journey undertaken by the Clipper round the world yachts.
Crews experienced a wide range of weather conditions from the benign to the extreme: one boat was struck by a tornado, some crews had endure giant waves, hurricane force winds, dodged icebergs and growlers; extreme heat and cold; be on alert for pirates; had coast guard assisted medical evacuations and a miraculous rescue of a man overboard after being lost in a Pacific storm for over an hour.
The final race was from the Netherlands to Southend which decided the final places.
1 Henri Lloyd
2 GREAT Britain
3 One DLL
6 Old Pulteney
The yachts will go back to St Katherine’s Dock for the prize winning awards and have a well earned rest.
Photo by Roxy Kapranos
Photo by Roxy Kapranos
Photo by Roxy Kapranos
Last September I published a couple of posts about the start of the Clipper Round the World race.
The fleet of twelve boats and 670 crew have raced almost 40,000 miles and visited 16 ports on six continents, in the world’s longest ocean race.
The first leg of the Clipper Race ended in Rio de Janeiro, They then continued on via South Africa, Western Australia, Sydney (including the world-famous Sydney-Hobart Race), Singapore, China, San Francisco, Panama, Jamaica, New York, Derry Londonderry and are at the present in the Netherlands before returning to London’s St Katharine Docks for Race Finish on 12th July 2014.
Race 16, Den Helder to London, starts on Thursday July 10.
To celebrate their amazing achievements the boats will undertake a Thames Parade of Sail on Saturday 12th July
10.00 – Parade of Sail
10.19 – QE2 Bridge at Dartford
11.48 – Thames Barrier
12.01 – Dome
12.12 – Greenwich
12.30 – Canary Wharf Pier
12.45 – St Katharine Docks
14.00 – 15.00 – Final prize giving ceremony at St Katharine Docks.
Whilst I was positioned next to Blackwall Station, one of the regular contributors to the blog, L. Katiyo joined the main crowds on Aspen Way.
If you have watched the Tour de France on television, not surprisingly you only see the cyclists racing but watching it live you realise what a massive undertaking the whole event is.
One of the strangest aspects is the promotional caravan which usually arrives a couple of hours before the race.
It can spread over 15–20 miles and often takes 40 minutes to pass a particular point. It is all highly coordinated by the caravan director plus an assistant, three motorcyclists, two radio technicians and a breakdown and medical crew. Six motorcyclists from the Garde Républicaine, the élite of the gendarmerie, ride with them.
The caravan can contain up to 200 vehicles and if you add to that numerous team coaches, team cars and race vehicles it is quite a sight.
When the race arrived , the cyclists were moving so quickly that photo opportunities are limited.
And then more vehicles with spare bikes and the race has gone. It certainly is a unique sporting event and bought a lot of attention to the usually neglected Aspen Way.
After the Grand Depart from Yorkshire, the Tour de France makes its way to London via Cambridge.
Large scale events are nothing new in London but the Tour de France offers something slightly different.
Although it does not go through the Island itself , it does travel very close by and thousands of people from the Island joined the crowds.
Aspen Way lies just behind Canary Wharf and was a favourite location for the office workers.
Waiting for the Cyclists to arrive, the crowd was entertained by the Caravan, a strange mixture of sponsors, team coaches and cars and various security vehicles.
Unfortunately the afternoon was punctuated by heavy rain showers but these did little to dampen the crowds spirit. Even the DLR got into the Le Tour mood with two specially painted carriages.
When the race finally arrived it took many by surprise how quick the cyclists were racing.
Two breakaway riders were quickly followed by the peloton.
And then it was all over, the cyclists racing into central London and the finish.
Anyone who is a regular reader of the blog will know that the Isle of Dogs and the surrounding area only tends to get national or international fame when the London marathon takes place.
However this year we have another global sporting event on our doorstep, when the Tour de France travels though the Royal Docks, along Aspen way, through Limehouse , Wapping, Shadwell before reaching the Tower and finishing in the Mall.
If you wish to watch the one of the world’s great sporting events, here is some information that you might find useful.
Monday, July 7 will see the world-famous Tour de France cycle race – the world’s largest annual sporting event – coming through Tower Hamlets as part of the Tour de France of the race within the UK.
After setting off from Cambridge, the race will pass through Essex before arriving in Greater London via Epping Forest. It will run through Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and Stratford before entering the borough at Leamouth. The riders will take the A1261 Aspen Way and the A1203 Limehouse Link/The Highway past Poplar, Shadwell and Wapping, before finishing on The Mall at around 15:30.
It promises to be an exciting occasion and the borough will be a great place to see the world’s best riders as they race along the roads surrounding Canary Wharf, St Katharine Docks and Billingsgate Market competing for the famous Yellow Jersey.
The whole route is un-ticketed so everyone can watch for free and witness the thrills and spills of the famous race. People are encouraged to watch the race locally, pick a spot and stick to it, to make the most of what the day has to offer
Ahead of the actual race, spectators can enjoy the Tour’s Publicity Caravan – a convoy of floats, vehicles and entertainers who travel ahead of the race handing out promotional goodies.
Estimated arrival times for the Caravan and the fastest* cyclists, to help you plan your day, a
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park 13:20 14:55
Royal Victoria Dock 13:35 15:05
Aspen Way 13:45 15:10
Tower Hill 13:50 15:25
The Mall (finish) 13:55 15:30
A number of events and activities will be taking place along the route in London where spectators, visitors and cycling-enthusiasts will be able to soak up the atmosphere. These include the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the Tour de France official FAN Parks, located at Green Park and Trafalgar Square, which will be open between Saturday 5 and Monday 7 July and will host a variety of activities. These locations will be free and an ideal location to watch the race live on giant screens.
Canary Wharf on a Sunday morning is often a quiet place, ideal for a morning stroll around the old docks.
However this morning, many people’s quiet morning was disturbed by the roar of a racing car.
Under further investigation I came upon a rather strange scene of a racing car roaring around a small section of Canary Wharf watched by a few bemused spectators and a number of stewards.
The pit stop was manned by Lotus racing , so I am presuming it was some kind of photo shoot for the team.
It is a strange aspect of Canary Wharf is that they do have a number of Camera Crews about at weekends.