Big Half Marathon Lock In Report: What happened in Wapping

The Big Half Marathon has been run and some semblance of normality is returning to the streets of Wapping.

Big Half Marathon runners Wapping High Street

LW and friends were out and about during the race talking to locals and taking some photos which you can see below.

Runners on pavements

New issues we noticed during the race were that at some points the runners were taking over the pavements as well as the road

Phoenix Wharf, Wapping High Street


Outside Town of Ramsgate, Wapping High Street


Pier Head, Wapping High Street

Pavement blocked

The six mile race markers completely blocked the pavements outside the MPS Marine Police Unit HQ

Six mile markers on pavement outside MPS Marine Unit HQ, Wapping High Street

Parks locked

All our lovely parks were locked! We think this is because the person who drives round the borough and unlocks all the parks could not get access to Wapping.

Wapping Rose Gardens locked.


Wapping Gardens locked.

Smith’s Restaurant

We have also heard numerous reports of local businesses being hit by the closure of Wapping today, especially the amazingly good Smith’s Restaurant at 22 Wapping High Street.

Seems the owner of Smith’s was fuming because of the impact on his business and the lack of notification. (Note: If Smith’s could get in touch and tell us what happened we would be grateful:

Twitter comments

Here are some comments on Twitter about the Big Half Marathon.

Thousands of invisible people gather on The Highway to watch the Big Half Marathon.

Problems overblown?

Apparently some in authority think that the problems caused to Wapping residents have been exaggerated. This is not out belief.

On the race route this morning LW personally told Mayor John Biggs that of all the issues we have ever covered the Big Race Marathon has been the subject of the most adverse comments and vocal opposition.

20:1 against Big Half Marathon?

Based on talking to residents and businesses and site activity on LW we have found that for every person in Wapping in favour of the event there are 20 or more against it.

Obviously this is by no means a statistically rigorous poll but we do think it is a reasonable reflection of general opinion.


What is your view?

Anyone else been adversely effected by the Big Half Marathon Wapping Lock In? If so please tell us about your experience in the comments section below, via Twitter @LoveWapping or email

Big Half Marathon 2019?

Yep, the event organisers want to do the same thing in Wapping next year. Whaddayathinkaboutthatthen?

4 thoughts on “Big Half Marathon Lock In Report: What happened in Wapping

  1. Well that was a fuss over nothing. Firstly I really enjoyed running the race and the Wapping part was excellent. There were people on the streets cheering on the runners including a lot of kids. In Limehouse which was equally ‘inconvenienced’ Sir Ian Mckellen was hanging out of his window smiling and cheering us along.

    I got back to Wapping after I finished at about 11.15. There was not a single runner in sight. And by about 12 the roads were all reopened. People could walk about and Smiths didn’t lose any lunch trade because cars/cabs couldn’t get there.

    I’ve said it before and I’l say it again, I truly believe that the complaints about this is the height of NIMBYism. It’s half a day of your lives. And a Sunday no less. Waitrose isn’t open until 11 by which time the runners are done. The essence of most people’s ire seemed to be some variation of ‘but where will we park’, which is a bit sad really.

    This stuff is part and parcel of living in the greatest and most vibrant city in the world. It’s half a day out of your year. And you get to see Sir Mo Farrah running past your front door! I will not ever understand the amount of unnecessary knicker twisting that has gone on over this. You had to move your car for a few hours, oh no. People in Wapping’s primary complaint seems to be cars and trucks using Wapping as a rat run. Well they didn’t on Sunday.

    15,000 people did something incredible yesterday. Something that should be cheered and celebrated. If it slightly inconvenienced you personally for a few hours, so be it. If the Overground isn’t running there’s more disruption. Could it have been communicated better, yeah probably. But it’s half a day once a year. You’ll know for next year. There are real honest to god issues in Tower Hamlets like housing, education, corruption. This shouldn’t make the top 1,000. It’s whipped up anger completely out of proportion with the actual impact.

    And finally, as I’ve mentioned previously, the team I ran for raised £47,000 so that Manorfield Primary School right here in Tower Hamlets can build a new nursery. Think about the difference that will make. Isn’t that worth having you move your car for 12 hours?

    1. I hardly think you can accuse Wapping residents of Nimbyism. We have quite a lot of stuff going on in our backyard.

      The essence of your defence of the event seems to me to be name-dropping Sir Mo Farah and Sir Ian Macallen and the time people finished the event? I fully congratulate you on raising some money for charities – I have taken part in these things myself, including those that closed off the highway. Maybe you try a full marathon next time, and we cancel the half event?

      The essence of my personal issues with what went on are a complete lack of communication from the authorities who organised it. As a resident, due to the uncertainty of when roads would open and the really incredibly poor signing and zero notification from the organisers I had to change plans for the day, unaware I would be able to drive out of Wapping, as you say at a decent time of the day.

      I googled something about one of the organisers – nothing to do with me and I can’t vouch for authenticity but it kind of looks interesting.

      1. I don’t really care about Will Tuckley and whatever else he may or may not have done. That’s just a straw man argument.

        Sorry you had to change your plans (maybe a nice lie in next year). If you’d been on the website (or indeed this one in the weeks running up to it) you’d have seen the road closures and the reopen times, which were stuck to.

        And yes it’s NIMBYism. You’re saying you have no issue with the event itself other than that it inconvenienced you personally. That is the very definition.

        It’ll most likely be back next year, either directly through Wapping or closing the Highway. So I hope the NIMBYs get over themselves in the next 12 months otherwise there will be a lot of raging against the dying of the light going on.

  2. I believe it was a fantastic event. I witnessed it and cheered on the runners who I have a lot of respect for. Try running 13.1 miles Wapping residents and let me know how you get on. This is the type of event we need these days. people powered by their sheer physical capability and mental resilience. As wapping residents we need to look up to these runners and stop moaning about our ‘first world’ privileged lifestyle being affected for a few hours at the most on a lovely Sunday morning. Get a life, go out, and celebrate the best humanity can offer the moment. The amount of people running for charity was amazing. The ‘this is for my mother’ this is for my sister’ running bibs were really moving and put your petty complaints into perspective. This is an amazing you would be crazy not to support, if anything it demonstrates your narrow mindedness, entitled feeling, and selfishness.

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