Photo: Virgin Money London Marathon
The cold weather and the threat of snow did not deter the large crowds from watching 2016 London Marathon, almost 40,000 runners stood on the starting line whilst Major Tim Peake conducted the count down for the start of the mass race from the International Space Station. Major Peake will provide another first when he runs the marathon distance ( 26.2 miles ,42km ) on a treadmill aboard the Space Station.
Back on earth, this year will see the millionth finisher in the history of the race, which was first held in 1981.
The elite races are the first to finish with the men’s wheelchair race was won by defending champion Marcel Hug from Switzerland, Australian Kurt Fearnley was second and six-time London winner and local favourite Weir came third.
America’s Tatyana McFadden continued her domination in the women’s elite wheelchair race winning the race for a fourth consecutive year. McFadden beat Manuela Schar of Switzerland with Wakako Tsuchida of Japan third.
The drama continued with Kenyan Jemima Sumgong winning the race after earlier suffering a fall at a drink station. Sumgong pulled clear of last years winner Ethiopia’s Tigist Tufa of Ethiopia with Florence Kiplagat of Kenya third.
The men’s race was another win for Kenya with Eliud Kipchoge racing to a new course record of two hours, three minutes and four seconds which was only about seven seconds outside the world record. Stanley Biwott of Kenya was second and Kenenisa Bekele third in one of the quickest London Marathons ever.
After the elite races, the rest of the runners face their own particular challenges, the mix of serious runners, celebrities, fancy dress runners and fun runners make the marathon the great success it is.
Many of the runners run for their favourite charity and since 1981, competitors in the race have raised nearly 58 million pounds for various charities.
If you would like further information, visit the London Marathon website here
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