Runners on the road – live updates
The London Marathon returns this morning after more than two years of absence during the coronavirus pandemic.
About 40,000 runners – including everyone from elite athletes to overweight members of the public in dinosaur costumes – will roam the streets of London for the 26.2 mile course. 40,000 others arranged to run the distance race.
The race starts in Blackheath, south-east London, and ends in front of Buckingham Palace, on the Mall. Everyone competing in London itself has provided a negative lateral flow test and the starters are arranged in waves of around 1,000 spread over a period of 90 minutes.
Race director Hugh Brasher said this year’s event, which marks the 40th anniversary of London’s first marathon, “could easily be the most memorable of all time.”
“It will be a moment of joy, of real emotion,” he added. “It’s more than just a marathon. It’s about bringing people together and that’s what we’ve missed so much over the past 18 months.
“This will be one of the biggest days of the year for charity fundraising at an incredibly difficult time. It will mean more than any marathon in the history of our event since 1981.”
Among the elite athletes competing are Brigid Kosgei, the female world record holder, and Shura Kitata, who won the men’s race in 2020, when it took place around a closed loop of St James’s Park. .
Eliud Kipchoge, the greatest male marathoner of all time, does not participate and neither does Mo Farah.
As first reported by Telegraph Sport, this could be the last London Marathon to air on BBC television. Athletes and MPs have expressed dismay that the BBC could cede the rights to the London Marathon amid warnings that would threaten the race’s fundraising mission.
British running veterans Jo Pavey and Martyn Rooney told Telegraph Sport it would be “a shame” if the company lost one of the sport’s most iconic mass participation events after organizers confirmed it ‘they were in talks to switch to another terrestrial broadcaster.