Photographing the 2017 London Marathon

The 2017 London Marathon was one of my first attempt to street & event photography in London. I didn't set many expectations about the outcome as I haven't done much of this kind of shoots in the past. So instead, I've set my mindset to exploration and fun.

Catching up with elite runners

My plan was to camp first around Greenwich (6-7th mile), trying to catch elite runners that were leading in the race. Unfortunately, I've arrived there a little bit late and both sides of streets were fully packed with spectators. So, couldn't find any suitable spot I walked few minutes around the University of Greenwich and settled on the side of the Trafalgar Road.

2017 London Marathon
Elite group of the runners, led by Kenenisa Bekele — photo is actually out of focus, but this is the best I got...

Just in time, as the first runners were suppose to arrive shortly. Unfortunately, my lens had some troubles with focusing and most of the elite runners have run by and I didn't take any good quality shoot… Lesson learn!

2017 London Marathon
Another pack of runners passing my spot.
2017 London Marathon
Fastest carrot on the track!

After around 15-20 minutes, I decided to move further down the street, walking to the 2nd location that I planned to visit, around mile 17th. I had to get to the opposite side of the Thames River. Fortunately, right there was Greenwich Foot Tunnel, which takes you right there.

Closer to the fast runners

From the tunnel exit, I've simply walked alongside Westferry Rd, in the direction of Canary Wharf. It wasn't that much crowded here so I could get really close to the runners and I've managed to catch few interesting photos.

2017 London Marathon
Leading pack with Daniel Wanjiru, further winner of the race! Funny thing, the girl in the background tried to keep their pace, but failed in less than 15 seconds.

I've used 2 lenses: the wide-angle, Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 and an old, 50mm f/1.8 Canon prime. This is still the same, minimalistic combination of lenses I'm using.

2017 London Marathon
Kenenisa Bekele on the course of 2017 London Marathon
2017 London Marathon
Tilahun Regassa on the course of 2017 London Marathon
2017 London Marathon
Alphonce Simbu on the course of 2017 London Marathon

I've stayed here a little longer catching the efforts of runners going for sub 3:00 finish time, which means also very strong pace.

2017 London Marathon
Runners Shelley & Mellor accompanied with a pacer runner
2017 London Marathon
Fast runners... not only from Kenya and Ethiopia
2017 London Marathon
Runner #1678
2017 London Marathon
Runner #1522
2017 London Marathon
Runner #1297
2017 London Marathon
Runner #1426
2017 London Marathon
One of the first women on the course, runner #857
2017 London Marathon
Triathlete on the course, Ironman Kona finisher!
2017 London Marathon
Fastest vegetable world record

The running fest

As I moved closer to DLR stations the was again much more spectators and cheering. This was really great feeling and I imagine it is even much more intense if you're a runner. Live music, applause, signs, people shouting runners names, cheering, drums - all of this creates a quite spectacular experience. I know this feeling since I was running my first marathon race in 2011, 6 years ago…

2017 London Marathon
Event when tired, people still have energy to smile...
2017 London Marathon
... send a message...
_MG_6501
or simply have fun!
2017 London Marathon
I've even spotted Darth Vader!

When I was now walking with my camera alongside the street full of crowds and runners, each fighting their internal battle with fatigue, exhaustion, pain and weaknesses, I decided I want too, to be part of this experience next year. So, a few days ago I've signed up for the ballot to enter 2018 London Marathon.

2017 London Marathon
The atmosphere at this place was delightful!

Wish me luck and maybe we'll meet on the streets in 2018!

2017 London Marathon
Runners on the course of 2017 London Marathon!

If you want to see more photos from, feel free to check my full Flickr gallery album from 2017 London Marathon.

Curated with ♥︎ — Jan Kraus Stanko, 2007 — 2017