There were tears, there was laughter, there was a lady dressed as a loo roll and there were more than 40,000 runners speeding, jogging and walking around London …and raising millions of pounds for charity.
Yes, the 39th London Marathon was a joy to behold and we were especially proud to see Nikki, in her official role as Pacer this year, helping to get some of the runners round the course in good time and in one piece.
The London Marathon has been host to runners of all ages and levels of experience since 1981. It’s been estimated that over a billion pounds has been raised over the years and there have been thousands of stories of heroism, dedication and eccentricity ever since.
This year, more than 386 thousand people applied for the gruelling running race, which stretched around 26.2 miles of London landmarks.
The winner of the men’s race (for the fourth time) was the awesome Eliud Kipchoge from Kenya who ran the second fastest time in history - 2 hours, 2 minutes and 38 seconds (phew). Kenya’s incredible Brigid Kosgei won the women’s race (and the record for youngest female winner at just 25). The oldest finisher was Eileen Noble who at 84 completed her 19th marathon. Nikki ran the marathon in 5 hours 45 in her role as pacer which meant she had a bit of more time than usual to soak up the atmosphere and share encouraging words with lots of new dedicated running friends.
Every year there are plenty of record attempts and this year was no different. A whopping 38 running records were broken including ‘fastest marathon dressed as a zombie’, fastest marathon dressed as a shoe, fastest marathon in a sleeping bag and fastest marathon dressed as an egg. One of our favourite costume-wearers was Luke Bates who was aiming for ‘record time dressed as Big Ben’. He ran brilliantly, but didn’t quite make it - partly because his costume was too big to fit under the finish line. Oops. Nikki was kitted out in her official running pacers’ garb - striking turquoise running top and perfectly co-ordinated ‘Run London’, special edition running trainers.
Since Sunday we’ve picked up quite a few random marathon-running facts. Very useful if you’re taking part in a sports themed pub quiz anytime soon. So…did you know:
#1 The marathon is a celebration of the legendary Greek soldier Pheidippides. He is said to have run over 25 miles from the battle of Marathon to Athens Town to deliver news of a Greek victory, only to promptly collapse and die.
#2 More accountants run the London marathon than any other profession.
#3 Runners have to pass 84 tempting pubs en route to the London marathon finish line.
#4 The marathon we’d most like to take part in is the Walt Disney World Marathon which goes through Magic Kingdom, Epcot, the Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.
#5 11 people have run every single London marathon, since it started in 1981.
#6 The ‘Man versus Horse’ marathon takes place every year in Llanwrtyd, Wales. A horse won for the first 24 years until elite marathoner, Huw Lob, became the first human victor.
#7 British astronaut, Tim Peake ran the London marathon from space in April 2016.
#8 The record for fastest marathon while running backwards is just 3 hours, 43 minutes.
#9 The most indulgent marathon is the Marathon du Medoc in France which starts with a sip of wine, after which runners head through vineyards, greeted by 22 refreshment sands, 21 gourmet food stalls and a red carpet finish.
#10 A person’s chances of dying while running a marathon are much, much lower than if they’re canoeing, cycling or mountain climbing.
If you (like us) are feeling thoroughly inspired by Sunday’s fantastic event and are now itching to enter next year’s London Marathon, then you’d better get your skates on - the ballot is already open and it closes TODAY - Friday at 5pm! Find out more here. If you don’t make it this year, there’s always next year so keep on running!