London Marathon 2013, one of the biggest participation sport events in the UK, takes place on Sunday, April 21.
The race will feature in excess of 36,000 runners as they make the 26-mile, 385 yard journey from Blackheath to The Mall.
The London Marathon facts:
- The name “marathon” comes from the name of a Greek battlefield, from which messenger Pheidippides ran the 24.8 miles to Athens to announce the Greeks’ victory over the Persians. After delivering his message, he collapsed and died from exhaustion.
- The 2011 winner, Kenya’s Emmanuel Mutai, completed the London Marathon in a new course record of 2:02.40.
- Lloyd Scott competed in London Marathon 2002 wearing a 110 lb deep-sea diving suit. It took him five days and eight hours to complete the course, breaking the world record for the slowest marathon time. It’s a record that will remain unbroken, as London Marathon officials have set a maximum time limit of 24 hours. Lloyd Scott has also completed the course dressed as a snail, St George and Indiana Jones.
- The blue paint that marks out the course is steam-cleaned off as the last runner passes so the streets of London are returned to their pristine condition without delay.
- Journalist and former conservative politician Matthew Parris holds the record for the fastest MP to complete the London Marathon. He nailed the 26 miles in 2 hours and 32 minutes in 1985.
- In 2011 football freestyler John Farnworth completed the course in 12 hours 15 minutes, juggling a football for the entire distance. He didn’t drop the ball once.
- Notable celebrities who have run the marathon include Richard Dunwoody, Gordon Ramsay, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Graham Taylor, Jeffrey Archer, Lorraine Kelly, Nell McAndrew and Sophie Anderton.
- In 2005 Paula Radcliffe was caught short and had to relieve herself mid-race.
- Marathon runners travel further than the longest bus route in London – the X26 from Croydon to Heathrow – which is 23.75 miles long.
- The London Marathon was the first to be run over 26.2 miles as during the 1908 Olympics the Royal Box lay 385 yards beyond the 26 mile finish line. The race was therefore extended so the finish was beneath the Royal Box. The marathon has kept its extra 0.2 of a mile ever since.