Although the weather was cold and grey, there were plenty of colour on the London streets as the crowds gathered to cheer on the large number of runners in the 2015 Virgin Money London Marathon. Record numbers are expected to run the 2015 Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 26 April, after more than 38,000 registered for the race.The previous record was set in 2012 when 37,227 started and 36,705 finished the race.
Among those competing will be 20 London 2012 Olympics and Paralympic athletics medallists, including four London 2012 marathon champions, and many of the quickest marathon runners ever.
In the men’s race, experienced and successful track runner Eliud Kipchoge proved to strong for reigning champion Wilson Kipsang who was bidding for a London hat-trick. Marathon world record holder Dennis Kimetto finished a creditable third.
There was a suprise in the elite women’s race when the Kenyan dominance failed to materialise and Ethiopia’s Tigist Tufa won her first London marathon title with Kenyan Mary Keitany second and Ethiopian Tirfi Tsegaye third.
Home favourite David Weir, who was attempting to land a record seventh crown, was narrowly beaten by American Joshua George in the men’s wheelchair race, while Tatyana McFadden claimed her third straight title in the women’s wheelchair race.
There was plenty of interest in previous three-time winner Paula Radcliffe who ran her final marathon and amongst the many celebrities ran the race, was Formula 1 driver Jenson Button.
However what makes the London Marathon unique amongst other marathons is the thousands of club athletes, fun runners and fancy dress costume wearers who raise enormous amount of money for charity. Last year £53.2 million was raised for charity and this year there were expectations that this amount could be surpassed.
Whilst much of the early interest is focussed on the elite races, after those have finished the interest switches to vast majority of the runners have their own personal targets, whether measured in pounds raised, or hours, minutes and seconds on the clock.
The London Marathon has proved once again that is one of London’s great sporting events and provides plenty of free entertainment to visitors who are in the city at this time.
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