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TOFS Awareness Week 2024

Come and cheer on our 2023 London Marathon runners!

Join us on Sunday, 23rd April to cheer on our amazing TOFS London Marathon runners on the official TOFS Cheering Stand. no need to book. Just turn up and cheer!

Where to find us:

The TOFS cheering point is on “The Highway”, which is a 4-lane main road. The runners pass this location just after 13 ½ miles’ running and then again 21½ miles along the course. TOFS has used this London Marathon cheering point for several years.

We will be within 200 metres of the pedestrian underpass crossing (of The Highway) at Glamis Road.  The underpass makes it relatively easy to cross the Marathon route at this point.

This location is only 5-10 minutes’ walk from the Docklands Light Railway / London Overground station at Shadwell. Our map shows both Shadwell stations circled.

TOFS Tip: Walk along Cable street, then Glamis Road to get there as crowds on The Highway itself will slow you down!

Initially, we’ll be on South (lower) side of The Highway. This is just after 13½ miles. Later on, we’ll be on North (upper) side. This is a little after 21½ miles. This means you get two chances to cheer on our runners!

Full info

Toilets, Cafes, etc

This part of London is mostly residential, with few facilities. There is a “Prospect of Whitby” pub on Glamis Road (300 metres south) and a McDonalds on “The Highway” 500 metres West.0

In past years, a temporary outdoor café has been in operation in St Paul’s Churchyard on the south side of the Highway, very close to where we plan to be cheering. 

There has also been a temporary café with toilets set up in Glamis adventure playground in Glamis road (just north of The Highway). There are a few shops and cafes close to Shadwell DLR / Overground stations.

Runners – look for us on your right-hand side both times

You need to be on the right-hand side of the sea of runners when looking out for our cheering point. This applies as you pass the cheering point on both occasions.

Like other charities, we have large banners which we expect to fix to the crowd barriers at leg-to-hip height and some above-head-height sail flags, visible from some distance.

Crowds of spectators? Getting around in London will probably be slow….

In the past, the area around our cheering point has had spectators four to five people deep at peak times. The route is more busy towards the finish area.

It is not likely to be easy for supporters to rush about from place to place and so see any given runner at several locations around the route. In previous years, DLR, trains and tube have been unusually busy, and in some places queueing just to get into the stations. That said, our cheering point is easily accessible by direct DLR from Cutty Sark at Greenwich (just under 7 miles into the race) and from the Canary Wharf area (15 to 20 miles). The Overground gives a direct connection from Surrey Quays, close to the Marathon route at just over 8 1/2 miles.

It will take some time (up to 30 minutes) for runners to get from the finish line to the Marathon’s designated meet and greet points. The Marathon’s event guide says that these points are organised by letter of the alphabet and suggests you don’t rely on phone contact in this area: it will be a sea of people.

Cross the route by the underpass only

Note that for most of its 26 miles, the Marathon route can only be crossed at the few designated crossing points.

The Highway is divided into two runners’ carriageways, as it were. The Marathon route normally has crowd-control barriers at the sides and centre, guarded by marshals. Until all the TOFS runners have passed for the first time, we shall be on the south side of the road. Then we shall move via the underpass to the north side to see the TOFS runners again.

Timings

The TOFS runners are likely to pass our cheering poin for the first time between 11:45 and 14:00, roughly speaking. Elite runners will be a lot earlier than this. The “mass” runners start in waves between 10:00 and 11:30 and 11:00, so we can’t give a better passing time estimate until we know each runner’s start time and guesstimated running time, too.

There will still be runners, but not so many, passing our cheering point for the second time as late as 5-6 pm.
On the day, we expect to be able to use London Marathon’s app to track roughly where all the TOFS runners are and so have a reasonable idea when to look out for everyone.

At least one of us will be at the cheering point by 8am, in order to grab a good location for the banners and flags.

Some final thoughts:

The organisers have published an Event Guide, mainly for runners, but it includes a lot of information about the course, finish areas, and so on.

We expect to have a TOFS “on the day” WhatsApp group for Marathon supporters (please let us know before the event you’d like to join) and we’ll notify any updates on this.

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