Thousands of spectators expected to flock to east London today to watch the London Marathon

2012 London Marathon. Pic: Virgin London Marathon

2012 London Marathon. Pic: Virgin London Marathon

Thousands of people were defying security worries to line the streets of Tower Hamlets and Lewisham as the London Marathon passes through east London today.

There will be a period of silence prior to the start of  this Sunday’s race to mark the events in Boston earlier this week. This period of silence will be observed on all three London Marathon starts – red, blue and green – and as a show of solidarity with all those affected in Boston, organisers are encouraging runners to wear a black ribbon throughout Sunday’s race.

Following the bombings in Boston  last Monday, where the motivations behind the bombers who  planted devices which killed  three people and injured over 170still remain unclear, organisers of the London Marathon were quick to reassure the general public ahead of Sunday.

Nick Bitel, London Marathon chief executive, confirmed that extra security measures will be in place on Sunday to ensure the safety of everyone involved. He said: “We instigated a full security review and are putting additional resources in on race day. We have taken all reasonable steps to make sure everyone is as safe as possible. ”

The annual 26-mile race takes runners through the Eastlondonlines boroughs of Lewisham and Tower Hamlets as it winds its way from Blackheath to The Mall.

Kicking off at Greenwich park, the route passes through Greenwich, Deptford and Southwark, before crossing Tower Bridge into Tower Hamlets.

From there, runners will head east through Canary Wharf, the Isle of Dogs and past Limehouse station, before reaching the finishing stretch along The Mall.

Defending champion, marathon runner Wilson Kapsang said he is not concerned about any potential bomb attacks today.

He said: “We would all like to express our condolences to those who lost loved ones in Boston. They are in mourning right now and we know they are going through a hard time.

“But we will run feeling free. We’ve been competing in races everywhere and this sort of thing rarely happens. We can see that security matters are in place here and will race feeling completely safe.”

Organisers have also taken steps to warn local residents of road closures. Wapping residents will be enclosed by road closures, as miles 13 to 14 and 21 to 22 will be run along The Highway.

However, The Bishop Challoner School, Commercial Road, has offered free, secure, overnight parking to allow local residents to exit the area (this will operate until 4pm today). The school can be accessed via the pedestrian subway on Glamis Road.

There will additionally be a two way vehicle crossing point at the junction of The Highway and Glamis Road, but this will not be in operation during the busy running period between 10am and 1.30pm.

Miles 16 to 19 of the route will affect Isle of Dogs residents. Those situated on the river side of Westferry Road will be able to access drive along Manchester Road and Preston’s Road to Aspen Way and the Leamouth Road roundabout exit.

Residents enclosed by Marsh Wall, East Ferry Road and Westferry Road will be able to exit at crossing points at Byng Street and Spindrift Avenue.

The Greenwich Foot Tunnel, (south to north), will be open as usual, but queues are expected. It will be closed north to south between 10.30am to 12.30pm.

Transport for London are encouraging passengers “to plan their journeys ahead” of the event and “to consider walking as part of their journey”.

For a visual guide to Sunday’s race, visit the official Virgin London Marathon’s interactive map


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