We want your visit to the Marathon to be as memorable as possible. Make sure you’re prepared for your London 2012 experience by reading the information below – and don’t forget to plan your travel in advance.
Please note that The Mall is only accessible to ticket holders. If you have a ticket for the Marathon, go to the visitor information pages for The Mall
Collecting tickets from this venue? See the latest London 2012 box office information
When is it?
The women’s event takes place at 11am on Sunday 5 August, and the men’s event at 11am on Sunday 12 August.
Where is it?
The race starts and finishes in the ticketed area of The Mall. It is an 8-mile looped course which initially takes runners on a smaller 2.2 mile loop south along the river to Westminster Bridge, along Birdcage Walk, around the Queen Victoria Memorial, back along the ticketed area of The Mall and then out onto the wider loop. The wider loop takes athletes up to St Paul’s Cathedral, out towards the Tower of London and then back along Victoria Embankment to rejoin the initial route. They do this broader loop three times.
The route goes past many beautiful and historic buildings in central London, and is mostly made up of non-ticketed areas. View the route map
If you are thinking of making a day of it, you can search our events listings for information on what is going on around the Marathon route.
If you’re thinking of going to watch the Marathon, it’s important you plan your day in advance. Here are our tips on how to enjoy a memorable day:
- Plan your day in advance – read the information on these pages and sign up to our dedicated e-newsletter
- Stay local – if you’re lucky enough to live close to the route, please walk or cycle to your nearest viewing point, as many roads will be closed.
- Get there early to secure a good spot – London will be much busier than usual and viewing capacity will be limited, so think about a couple of places where you might want to watch, arrive early and be prepared to wait. Download a route map to start planning now
- Don’t drive – there will be extensive road closures along the route, and there is no parking available anywhere near the venue. For details of road closures in London, visit the Get Ahead of the Games website
- Check online before you set off – journey times and routes may change during the Games, so check the most up-to-date travel information before you leave hom
- Be prepared to wait – with increased numbers of spectators in and around London at Games times, there will be longer queues for everything from the Tube to the toilets.
- Come prepared for all types of weather – this is an outdoor event so check the weather forecast the night before the race.
Estimated runner times
Download a list showing the times at which runners are expected to pass various points on the route (please bear in mind that these times are approximate). These locations are for timing guidance only, and may not necessarily be the best place for you to watch the race.
London will be much busier than normal during the Games, with some temporary changes to roads and public transport required to help keep London moving. On Marathon days, there will be road closures around the route.
For details of road closures, visit the Get Ahead of the Games website
If you plan to attend the Marathon, you should think carefully about where you want to watch as some locations will be very busy. Large crowds are expected to attend and space will be limited. Arrive early, be prepared to wait and make sure you know how to get there. It is a good idea to have a plan B in case your preferred viewing area doesn’t work out.
Download the official London 2012 Join In app – a mobile guide to help you plan, enjoy and share your Games experience.
Sign up for more information
Sign up now to receive dedicated emails on the Marathon and be first in line to get event updates, travel advice and other tips to help you make the most of your day.
In June we will be launching an interactive map which will provide further details on when to expect riders, spectator facilities such as cycle parking, and other information.
You can also download the official London 2012 Join In app – a mobile guide to help you plan, enjoy and share your Games experience.