If you’re going to be one of the more than 40,000 people who compete in the mass 2023 TCS London Marathon… We hope you are ready for an amazing experience.

Along the route runners will not go a moment without feeling the exciting rush from their competitors and supporters cheering them on.

The TCS London Marathon 2023 will take place on the 23 of April. The race has a staggered start in this order: 08:50 (Elite wheelchair men’s and women’s races), 09:00 (Elite women’s race), and 09:40 (Elite men’s race and mass start.)

In this article, we will be covering…

Let’s begin!

The London Marathon 2023 Route In Detail

The London Marathon distance is 26.2 miles/ 42.2 kilometers. The terrain of the marathon is closed-off roads and pavements and has a total elevation gain of between 119m and 138m, making it a mostly flat course with only one small rise.

The course which has barely been changed since 1981 makes up one of the most iconic marathons in the world and is one of the six Abbott World Marathon Majors.

The London Marathon route is famous for good reason, runners are able to see an incredible selection of London’s famous landmarks.

The route winds out of Greenwich Park and leafy Blackheath, it runs through Charlton, turns west past the famous Cutty Sark then loops through Greenwich and across Tower Bridge into Shadwell. Runners will reach Canary Wharf and the London Eye and then the course runs along the Lower Thames past the Tower of London through Trafalgar Square where runners get to pass the famous Landmarks of Big Ben and the Houses Of Parliament, then it’s the final stretch to The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace at St Jame’s Park.

Let’s have a detailed look at the course right from the start line…

The Start Of The London Marathon

The marathon begins with a triple start of different colors and number zones.

There are three different start points depending on your running bib color…

  • Red: Southern Greenwich Park. 
  • Green: St John’s Park
  • Blue: Shooter’s Hill Road

Each start area (Red, Green, Blue) has eight zones – numbered 1 to 8 – and you will be informed of your Start Zone when you register at Expo.

The zone you have been allocated to is based on your predicted finish time when you entered. 

Note: You cannot change your Start Area or move to an earlier Start Zone. But if you think your predicted finish time is now too fast, you will be allowed to join a later Start Zone.

When you register for the race you will receive your start color.

Mile 1-6 Of The London Marathon

Mile one to three takes you from the start line in leafy Blackheath, through Charlton. If you’re running from the red start line, from St Johns Park, or Shooter’s Hill Road. Mile 3 is where all the runners merge onto the same course.

Runners will then make their way through Woolwich and into Westcombe Park. Heading west, mile six is where participants enter Greenwich on Trafalgar road.

Mile 7-10 Of The London Marathon

After passing the famous Cutty Sark at mile 7 runners will then head to Deptford and then Surrey Quay at mile 9.

Runners will reach their first Lucozade Sports Drink table here and then run closer to the Thames along mile 10.

Mile 11-12 Of The London Marathon

Runners make their way towards the photogenic Tower Bridge in mile 11 and in mile 12 they cross the bridge heading towards the Tower Of London. Runners are almost halfway at this point.

Mile 13-17 Of The London Marathon

Runners are now on the other side of the Thames running on the highway. The halfway mark is crossed just after mile 13 and runners make their way toward Narrow Street.

At mile 16 they make their way down to Crossharbour and into Mudchute.

Mile 20-23 Of The London Marathon

Making their way towards the buzzing Limehouse now, runners head to the city back along the highway. 

The Final Stretch Of The London Marathon

With the finish line in sight, runners make their way along the Thames onto the Victoria Embankment, taking in all the landmarks. Pass Westminster and into St James Park to cross the finish line.

Something that you may find very useful is a detailed guide to the London Marathon Drinks Stations: What Can You Get & Where? We created it just for you.

London Marathon GPX File

Having a GPX file for the London Marathon can be extremely helpful on race day.

The London Marathon GPX file can be extremely helpful in planning your London Marathon. You can upload it to a platform like Google Maps so that you can interact with the map prior to race day. You can also upload it to your fitness watch so that you can use it on race day.

It’s important to remember when using a GPX file for the London Marathon that as we discussed earlier, the race has three different starts, and only after around three miles do the routes merge…

London Marathon Route Map

As you can see in the map below, the 26.2-mile challenge begins at one of the three start lines – Blue, Green, or Red – near Blackheath in Greenwich and It finishes on The Mall by Buckingham Palace.

Use the map to zoom in and get a feel for the roads you’ll be running on come race day…

Now that we know everything there is to know about the route, let’s have a look at the London Marathon cut-off time…

What Is The Average London Marathon Time?

Let’s first get this straight… all marathon times are “good” marathon times… It’s an incredible achievement at the end of the day and you should be extremely proud of yourself… no matter your finishing time.

With that being said, a lot of people consider a ‘good’ London marathon time to be under four hours – as this is better than the average. 

The average time for male finishers is 3 hours and 48 minutes. 

The average time for female finishers is 4 hours and 23 minutes. 

This is according to The Mirror which worked out the average finishing time from the 42,549 people that competed in the 2019 London marathon.

RunRepeat mapped global running participation, covering 107.9 million race results from more than 70,000 events from 1986 to 2018. 

In the end, they found that, in the UK, the average marathon finish time was 4:37:09. (This was done in 2019)

The Cut-Off Time For The London Marathon

The cut-off time for the London Marathon is 7 hours. 

Runners can only receive a medal and feature in the marathon results if they complete the course in 7 hours. (Of course, if you don’t finish in the 7 hours you can still try to finish the route, although roads will be reopened by then, so be careful.)

If you’re not running on race day or if you have some friends and family who are not running but would love to support you and join the fun. We’ve put together a guide to the Best London Marathon Spectator Spots: Maps & Directions.

Author

With a passion for high performance sport – Lindsey Parry is one of South Africa’s most widely recognised coaches. Having led a team to the London, Rio and Tokyo Olympic Games as well as the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, the Gold Coast & Birmingham, and coached both triathletes and runners onto podiums of some of the world’s most illustrious races, Lindsey has a unique ability to understand what it takes to succeed at any level and thrives on coaching, motivating and inspiring others to do the same – whether it’s on the track, on stage or behind a mic.

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