Worldwide icon-chevron-right Europe icon-chevron-right United Kingdom icon-chevron-right England icon-chevron-right London icon-chevron-right In pictures: Run Dem Crew's Mile 21 cheer zone at The London Marathon
News / Sport & Fitness

In pictures: Run Dem Crew's Mile 21 cheer zone at The London Marathon

In pictures: Run Dem Crew's Mile 21 cheer zone at The London Marathon
© Ash Narod

If you’re even slightly tempted to watch the London Marathon this year, get yourself down to Mile 21. Since 2012, a dull stretch of Commercial Road outside the former Limehouse town hall has been transformed into a lively street rave, complete with music and confetti to celebrate the runners. It’s the clever idea of Run Dem Crew founder Charlie Dark, who lives by the motto 'those that don’t run, must cheer' – and the zone has pulled in so many spectators, it’s now featured on this year’s official London Marathon map. Charlie tells us how it all came together. 

Mile 21 at the London Marathon

Charlie Dark@ Ash Narod

 

So Charlie – Mile 21. How did it come about?

'I ran the marathon for the first time in 2011 and basically ran out of gas around Mile 21. It stayed on my mind for a really long time afterwards. That disappointment coupled with the feeling that more people would be encouraged to sign up for the marathon if they could get right up close and personal came together in a crazy midnight idea. Four years later, it's still going strong. It’s one of my favourite days of the year.'

Nice. But why should people drag themselves out of bed – on a Sunday morning, of all days – to cheer? 

'The London Marathon is the people's race and it’s the only time that London comes out in force to will other Londoners to greatness. We encourage people to come out early and stay for the day. Seeing the race from the first very wheelchair racer to the very last charity runner at the back gives you a tremendous sense of the mental strength needed to run that distance – but it makes you feel that anyone can do it. It’s a hugely inspiring day and it’s good to see what London can be like when we come out of our shells and are nice to each other.'

What's up your sleeves this year? 

'Every year we try and turn Mile 21 into an unofficial carnival and it’s a chance for Run Dem Crew and the community to come together to decorate a grey stretch of road and bring it to life. Look out for the giant heads and expect lots of colour, confetti and noisy encouragement.'

The Mile 21 cheer zone is opposite the Docklands Tyres and Exhausts on 767 Commercial Rd, E14 7HG.

Take a look at photos of last year's Mile 21 from photographer Ash Narod

Mile 21 at the London Marathon

© Ash Narod

Mile 21 at the London Marathon

© Ash Narod

Mile 21 at the London Marathon

© Ash Narod

Mile 21 at the London Marathon

© Ash Narod

Mile 21 at the London Marathon

© Ash Narod

Mile 21 at the London Marathon

© Ash Narod

Mile 21 at the London Marathon

© Ash Narod

Mile 21 at the London Marathon

© Ash Narod

Mile 21 at the London Marathon

© Ash Narod

Feeling nervous about the marathon? Check out these runners' stories and tips.

Advertising
Advertising

Comments

0 comments