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An innovative city
London has long been a leading centre of innovation, with world-class universities and research institutions, global financial markets, and a plethora of cutting-edge tech companies.
Part of the joy of taking part in the TCS London Marathon is immersing yourself in the history, innovation, creativity, and diversity the city has to offer. The route takes you past many landmarks, along roads where history-makers have trodden, past renowned buildings and over famous bridges.
These historic sights pepper the marathon route – and even lie under your feet as you run.
The world’s first underground railway opened in London in 1863 and remains the root of the capital’s transport network, while the hundreds of miles that make up the London sewer system were the first of their kind and are still in operation today.
Here are just five extraordinary landmarks of innovation that you will pass on your way to the finish line:
1. The Cutty Sark
One of the fastest and most efficient ships of its time, the Cutty Sark lies around mile six of the marathon.
You might remember images of the ship ablaze that swept around the world in 2007. During the restoration process, innovation saved the day, with cutting-edge technology used to install a glass roof at the waterline and protect everything beneath. Around 90% of what you see as you go past is the original ship that first sailed in the 1870s, with the restored version opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 2012.
2. Tower Bridge
At the time of its completion in 1894, Tower Bridge was the largest and most innovative bridge the world had ever seen. Having taken five contractors and 432 workers eight years of labouring every day to build, this combined bascule and suspension bridge remains one of London’s most iconic landmarks.
The bridge still plays a major role in helping residents and visitors move about the city, with tens of thousands of motorists, pedestrians and cyclists using it daily. As a participant of the TCS London Marathon, it will be the 20-kilometre marker on your route, and crossing it is sure to be one of the highlights of the race.
Part of the joy of taking part in the TCS London Marathon is immersing yourself in every aspect of the history, innovation, creativity, and diversity the city has to offer.