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Race Day : The London Marathon 2016 on the Isle of Dogs – 24th April 2016

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The Isle of Dogs is thrust into the national and international spotlight once a year with the arrival of the London Marathon. In the week before the race, new boardings appear on the roadside and metal barriers arrive to be placed along the route.

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On the morning of the race, volunteers and charities take their spots along the route in eager anticipation of yet another carnival of running. People were not deterred by the icy cold blasts and the threat of snow and began to take their positions along the route . The spectators on the west of the Island have the benefit of watching the runners going down Westferry Road and returning via Marsh Wall before the runners head into Canary Wharf.

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A Choir on Marsh Wall

The elite wheelchair races are the first to start and finish and when they raced around the  Island,  the eventual winner Marcel Hug from Switzerland, Australian Kurt Fearnley who was second and six-time London winner and local favourite David Weir who finished third were all in close contention.

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America’s Tatyana McFadden continued her domination in the women’s elite wheelchair race winning the race for a fourth consecutive year. McFadden beat Manuela Schar of Switzerland with Wakako Tsuchida of Japan third.

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The drama continued with Kenyan Jemima Sumgong winning the race after earlier suffering a fall at a drink station. Sumgong pulled clear of last years winner Ethiopia’s Tigist Tufa of Ethiopia with Florence Kiplagat of Kenya third.

The men’s race was another win for Kenya with Eliud Kipchoge racing to a new course record of two hours, three minutes and four seconds which was only about seven seconds outside the world record. Stanley Biwott of Kenya was second and Kenenisa Bekele third in one of the quickest London Marathons ever.

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After the elite races, the crowds on the Island get bigger with family and friends of the runners of the mass race taking their places along the route, other spectators come out in large numbers to offer support to the runners who face their own particular challenges, it is the mix of serious runners, celebrities, fancy dress runners and fun runners make the marathon the great success it is. Many of the runners run for their favourite charity and since 1981, competitors in the race have raised nearly 58 million pounds for various charities.

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Eventually the large mass of runners dwindle down to smaller groups and spectators begin to drift away, the noise and excitement of the big day is replaced by quietness with the occasional lorry appearing on the course to take down various structures and the cleaning department picking up the tons of litter.

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Congratulations to all those who took part and all the volunteers who make  the London Marathon, the special event  it  is.

 

Race Day : The London Marathon on the Isle of Dogs – 26th April 2015

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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.

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The first part of the Marathon features the elite athletes and it was the wheelchair competitors who made the first appearance  with six time winner David Weir leading the pack.RSCN3162

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.

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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.

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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.

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But what makes the London Marathon unique is  the thousands of club athletes, fun runners, celebrities,  and fancy dress costume wearers.

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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.

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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.