The London Marathon Running Show, or Expo, is where your race experience for the London Marathon really begins. After many months of marathon training, joining thousands of fellow runners to collect your race number only serves to heighten your anticipation for race day.
Your Expo experience will be significantly better if you plan your trip to ExCeL in east London carefully, and ideally try to avoid going on Saturday, which is by far the busiest day.
When Is The London Marathon Running Show 2023?
The Running Show runs from Wednesday to Saturday and broadly speaking, the earlier you can go to collect your number the better, since it only gets busier as the week goes on. The opening times for 2023 are below. Note that it shuts earlier on Saturday evening than the other days, so don’t turn up at 7pm on Saturday hoping to get your number.
Wednesday 19th April 10am-8pm
Thursday 20th April 10am-8pm
Friday 21st April 10am-8pm
Saturday 22nd April 8.30am-5.30pm
Where Is The London Marathon Running Show 2023?
The Expo is held in Halls N1-N8 of ExCeL London—the entrance you have to use is N3. ExCeL is in east London at Royal Victoria Dock, and it’s a huge space, so be prepared to do a lot of walking to get to the London Marathon Running Show itself within it. That’s another reason to avoid going on Saturday if you can, because racking up an extra 10,000 steps the day before running a marathon isn’t ideal.
How To Get To The London Marathon Expo
The best station for ExCeL is Custom House, which is on both the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) and Elizabeth Line. You can also use the DLR to go to Prince Regent, which is almost as close to the Expo as Custom House. Bear in mind both stations are a longer walk away from the London Marathon Expo than seems reasonable. Calm your maranoia—it’s just the cavernous expanse of ExCeL.
All DLR trains heading towards Beckton or Gallions Reach on the DLR will stop at these stations, and Elizabeth Line trains heading towards Abbey Wood will stop at Custom House. If using the DLR it’s wise to avoid busy periods so you can increase your odds of getting the plum seat at the front where you can pretend to be the driver of the driverless train.
If you’re driving, put the postcode E16 1DR into your satnav or app. There are also cycle racks at the east and west entrances to ExCeL, if traveling on two wheels.
What You Need To Take To The London Marathon Running Show
Participants have been sent an email that contains a QR code you need to show at the Expo to get your event pack. It’s a good idea to reload the email on your smartphone before setting off so you don’t have to fight for bandwidth with everyone else trying to download it at the same time.
You will also need photo ID, like a passport or driving license, to pick up your pack. This contains your race number and official kit bag, which you use at the bag drop on the day. If you haven’t had your email, contact the London Marathon organizers before going to ExCeL.
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Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.