2023 TCS London Marathon
The TSC London Marathon is one of the most prestigious and celebrated sporting events in the UK and worldwide. Millions people watch the marathon in the UK on television and it is also broadcast in 195 countries around the world.
- Project and Location
- London, England
- All equipment was installed and cleared over a 12-day period in April 2023
- Products (Inc Quantity)
Multiple products and services including:
17,156 Police Barriers
3.360 Crowd Control Barriers
939 Concord/Angled Barriers
149 Mesh Barriers
500 Aluminium Lion Trakway Panels
133 Euromat Panels
170 TigerTrak Panels
Hundreds of thousands of spectators cheer the runners on from the side lines and since the first London Marathon in 1981, the event has raised more than £1 billion for charity.
The 2023 TSC London Marathon was the 43rd edition of the annual event. It was the first time since 2019 that the event returned to its traditional April date, as the previous events were run in the autumn due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
More than 48,500 participants, including the world’s leading elite marathon runners, took on the 26.2-mile route around the capital, starting in Greenwich and Blackheath, and passing some of London’s most famous landmarks before finishing on The Mall, opposite Buckingham Palace.
Sunbelt Rentals has been providing equipment solutions for the London Marathon for over 30 years, but this still remains one of the most challenging events due to its high profile nature, volume of equipment required, safety requirements and severe time constraints. With an event of this scale, there are many last minute changes and the client relies on Sunbelt Rentals’ experience to deliver.
Much of the marathon route is classed as a ‘red route’ by Transport for London (TfL). Red routes are London’s major roads and they carry up to 30% of the city’s traffic. When deploying and clearing equipment such as barriers, it is crucial that disruption is kept to a minimum as the city could otherwise be brought to a standstill. Both day and night crews are deployed to minimise disruption.
Barriers are essential to ensure the safety of spectators and runners, and the overall accessibility of the event. The marathon draws huge crowds and barriers protect both the participants and the spectators.
Leading up to the 2023 TSC London Marathon, Sunbelt Rentals was also preparing for the King’s Coronation which was being held in London two weeks after the London Marathon, so the demands on the business were exceptionally high.
The expertise of the Sunbelt Rentals team meant that we could rely on them to provide the right equipment for the event with minimal input from ourselves. The service provided was efficient and staff were professional and helpful. This certainly contributed towards making the event a successful one.Ben Craddock, Senior Manager, London Marathon Events
Sunbelt Rentals' Involvement in the 2023 TCS London Marathon
Sunbelt Rentals provided a total of 35km of barriers for the event, comprising a mix of Crowd Control Barriers and Police Barriers. A total of 20 crews were in standby locations and 100 crew members deployed and subsequently cleared the barriers at the event.
The barriers and equipment were not only used along the London Marathon route, but at the start and finish lines and in other locations such as designated hospitality areas. In some areas, barriers were used to create pens, such as crossing points where spectators could cross the route while the event was in progress. The barriers also helped to enforce road closures and protect drinks stations.
Once all equipment was installed, crews were on hand to ‘lock down’ the course on the morning of the event, ensuring no breaks in the barrier line and responding to last-minute changes.
The Sunbelt Rentals Head of Barriers and Fencing rode in the rear control vehicle with the customer, London Marathon Events, driving the route. They travelled at around 3 miles per hour at the back of the event and as they reached the standby crews, they gave permission in real time to clear the barriers on the course. This allowed the roads in the capital to be reopened as quickly as possible.
Equipment was used in several different areas for a variety of uses:
■ Rainbow Row - A 250m stretch of the marathon just past the 21-mile mark celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community, promoting inclusivity and creating a unique party atmosphere that gave participants the ultimate lift at a point when they needed it the most.
■ Drinks Stations - Lucozade and Buxton Water hydration stations at various locations across the route.
■ BBC Interview Areas.
■ Cheer Zones - Heavy spectator viewing points along the route.
■ Flying 400 - A sprint competition that saw a £30,000 prize fund awarded to the fastest wheelchair athletes in the men’s and women’s race to complete a specified 400 metre time trial section of the marathon course.
■ Marlborough House - Equipment supply wasn’t limited to barriers, over 4,000 square metres of heavy-duty Trakway was also supplied to provide ground protection and access solutions for the media areas after the finish.
Sunbelt Rentals worked hand-in-hand with London Marathon Events and other partners to help deliver a highly successful 2023 TCS London Marathon. From undertaking extensive planning leading up to the marathon, to making sure that the stock of barriers and trakway was available, to ensuring there was minimal disruption in the capital leading up to, during and after the event.
It is always a pleasure working with the London Marathon Events team and each year we make minor adjustments to help the operation run even more smoothly. It is a huge event involving the installation of thousands of metres of barriers which are collected immediately after the event. This year there was added pressure as the King’s Coronation was just days away. We’re delighted that we helped deliver another world class event.Mark Fisher, Head of Barriers and Fencing, Sunbelt Rentals
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