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London Marathon 2019

Words: Joe Harper

Images: Joe Harper

It was the first time since beginning to photograph sport that I’d been in London for the Marathon. Travel elsewhere and other commitments had kept me away. But this year was different. This year I was here and wanted/needed to experience the whole thing away from a livestream found through countless google searches with a dodgy wifi connection.

I started at Narrow Street which sits parallel to River Thames through the Limehouse area. I worked my way over to Commercial road, the infamous Mile 21. Run Dem Crew’s – Cheer Dem where in full force (as you can see). The energy in that corner made up for every other part of the course I’d seen, there was no more casual cheering or obligatory clapping. The crowd and crews were hardwired to cheer. Showering the runners, racers and participators in confetti, high-fives and screams of encouragement with or without aid of a megaphone. 

I was used to watching the cycling Grand Tours, cheering on your favourite pro athlete at arms-length was one thing but here, here the stage was shared by the pro-level and the everyday athlete. Combined with the community behind running in the Capital there was an atmosphere and connection to the race that couldn’t be achieved anywhere outside of this sport.