Record number of runners to take part in London Marathon

By John Mercury April 21, 2024

A record number of people will take part in the London Marathon on Sunday.

More than 50,000 people will race through the capital on what is due to be a dry and bright day with temperatures up to 12C (53.6F).

There will be 30 seconds of applause before the start in memory of last year’s elite men’s race winner Kelvin Kiptum, who died in a car accident in February at the age of 24.

Kiptum celebrates his Chicago Marathon world record. Pic: AP
Kelvin Kiptum. Pic: AP

He set a new London Marathon record of two hours, one minute and 25 seconds last year with his third win, and set a new world record of two hours and 35 seconds during the Chicago race in October.

This year’s marathon will also be the first time that wheelchair and non-disabled athletes have received the same prize money for a marathon.

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All four winners of the elite races will receive £44,000, with the runner-up receiving £24,000 and third place £18,000.

David Weir hailed the move. Pic: PA
David Weir. Pic: PA

David Weir, who will be racing his 25th consecutive London Marathon on Sunday and has won eight times, said he hadn’t expected the change to happen in his lifetime.

Event director Hugh Brasher said the event will be “more inclusive than before” with support for more than 200 disabled participants as well as a faith space and a quiet space for neurodivergent participants in the finish area.

Female urinals, sanitary products, and a family support area which includes a private breastfeeding area will all be available.

Jasmin Paris, the first woman to complete the ultra-endurance Barkley Marathons, will start the elite women’s race at 9.25am.

Dame Kelly Holmes, who won two gold medals at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, will then start the elite men’s race and mass event at 10am.

Among the runners will be 20 MPs and peers, the most in the event’s history, including Chancellor Jeremy Hunt.

russ cook
Russ Cook

“Hardest Geezer” Russ Cook, who finished running the entire length of Africa on 7 April, will also take part.

The 2023 marathon, the world’s biggest annual one-day fundraising event, raised £63m for thousands of charities.


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