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Celebrating the London Marathon

Celebrating the London Marathon

The 2018 London Marathon will take place on Sunday 22 April. Once again, thousands of spectators and millions of TV viewers will be treated to a spectacle of stamina, heroism and sheer determination from the 40,000 runners taking part. As ever, some of them will be running in fancy dress which will make things a lot hotter for the runners concerned, but more entertaining for the crowds, and all the amateur runners will be hoping to exceed the £61.5m raised for charities last year.

To take part, you must be aged 18 or over, which means that, for the first time ever, some of the runners will have been born in the 21st century!

The sheer number of competitors makes the marathon an awe-inspiring sight and it’s possible that if you’re on a Circular Cruise boat, you may catch some of the action as the runners first cross Tower Bridge (the elite athletes from 11.00am, the majority of the fun runners between 12.40pm and 2.40pm), and later on when they’re running (or staggering) along Embankment on their final couple of miles (from 11.20am for elite runners, and between around 1.15pm and 3.30pm for the rest).

If you’re up and about earlier, you might be interested to know that passengers on our sister company Thames River Services should hopefully be able to see the runners as they go round the Cutty Sark shortly after the run begins (9.45am for the elites, and between 10.50am and 11.30am for the ‘ordinary’ runners).

The wheelchair athletes have an earlier start and their expected times for these landmarks are: Cutty Sark from 9.15am, Tower Bridge from 9.30am, and Embankment from 10.15am.

The Spirit of London

Warning: reading these stories may cause eye-leaking!

The most famous moment from the 2017 London Marathon has sparked a new campaign, The Spirit of London Awards. With 26 miles behind him and just 200 yards to go, David Wyeth’s legs gave way and it looked like he might not make it to the finish line. Luckily for him, another runner, Matthew Rees, gave up the chance of getting a personal best time by slowing down and helping David over the line. Footage of his incredible act of generosity quickly went global.

It was this act of sportsmanship that prompted organisers to start The Spirit of London Awards, with the motto: ‘To have fun and provide some happiness and a sense of achievement in a troubled world’. Every year, the 26 runners who embody the spirit of the London Marathon will be presented with an award, and David and Matthew will be the first recipients.

There are plenty of other runners in this year’s Marathon who embody The Spirit of London and could end up with one of the awards themselves:

  • Eighteen firefighters who were first responders at Grenfell Tower will be running to raise money for projects helping local people affected by the fire. They will be in two teams, one from Paddington Fire Station, the other from North Kensington Fire Station. The team from Paddington will be making their task even more difficult by running in their full kit which includes 30kg breathing equipment (which they’ll probably need to use themselves by the time they reach the finish line).
  • Charlie Guenigault, an officer with the Met Police, will be running to raise funds for the King’s College Hospital Charity. The hospital staff treated him last year after he was badly injured trying to help victims of the terrorist attack on London Bridge. His actions resulted in him being stabbed five times and he was in a critical condition by the time he reached the hospital, requiring a three-hour emergency operation to save his life.
  • Ten supporters of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust will be running on the day which marks the 25th anniversary of Stephen’s murder in a racist attack. The Trust provides mentoring and support to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and some of those running in aid of the Trust have benefited from this support themselves.
  • And, in the year of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, it is fitting that 71-year-old Kathrine Switzer is also running. In 1967 she made history by being the first woman to run the Boston Marathon, narrowly avoiding officials who tried to forcibly remove her mid-race. If she hadn’t succeeded in proving that women are just as capable of distance running as men, today’s London Marathon would look very different indeed.

Click here if you’d like to book your Circular Cruise tickets for Sunday 22nd or, indeed, for any other day!


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