London Marathon event biggest ever


Published: Sunday 26th April 2015 by The News Editor

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Around 37,800 fund raisers, amateur runners and elite athletes are expected to take part in the Virgin Money London Marathon today, making it the biggest in the event’s 35-year history.

Forecasters predict good conditions for the runners with just patchy rain and mild temperatures.

An estimated 750,000 spectators will line the streets of the capital as world record holder Paula Radcliffe participates in her final competitive marathon.

The 41 year old will start at the head of the massed ranks rather than the elite field.

Her women’s marathon world record of 2:15:25, set in London in 2003, is almost three minutes faster than any other woman has ever run.

In the men’s race Wilson Kipsang will bid to become the fourth man to win three London titles, while Britain’s Paralympic champion David Weir is gunning for a seventh London title in the wheelchair contest.

Organisers expect around 37,800 runners to start the race this year, compared with the previous record of 37,227 in 2012.

Met Office meteorologist Mark Wilson said the weather should not present any problems.

“It’s not looking too bad,” he said.

“It will be a cloudy morning with some patchy rain on and off throughout the morning. The rain doesn’t look like it will be very heavy.

“Through the afternoon it should turn generally dry with some light afternoon brightness.

“Temperatures will be fairly mild so around 8C for the run which is not so good for the spectators standing on the side of the road but pretty good running conditions.”

Five politicians will be taking time off from defending their House of Commons seats in the General Election campaign to pound the streets of London.

The four Conservatives are minister for children and families Edward Timpson, Wales Office minister Alun Cairns, Graham Evans and Richard Drax.

Labour is represented by shadow justice minister Dan Jarvis.

A host of celebrities will also tackle the famous 26.2-mile course to raise money for charity.

They include Formula One driver Jenson Button, Radio 1 DJ Greg James, TV presenter Jenni Falconer, fashion designer Henry Holland, Made In Chelsea star Oliver Proudlock and US model Christy Turlington Burns.

The oldest entrant is Paul Freedman, 90, from Hornchurch, Essex, while the youngest will be Jonny Innes from Falmouth, Cornwall, who is celebrating his 18th birthday today.

Guinness has received more than 100 requests from entrants who want to attempt a new world record. These range from the fastest marathon wearing high heels to the quickest time dressed as a framed painting.

The races start at Blackheath and Greenwich Park from 9am and end on The Mall. Road closures will be in force and there will be delays to some public transport.

Published: Sunday 26th April 2015 by The News Editor

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