On April 28, thousands of people got up in the morning, and instead of enjoying their weekend in a leisurely manner, they put their workout gear on and went out to run a marathon.
The London marathon is a yearly affair that attracts the attention of locals and foreigners alike, all of whom were willing to forgo a day spent watching TV or playing Uptown Pokies games in favour of doing something for a good cause.
When that many people come together for one purpose, things are bound to get interesting. So which memorable incidents took place during the 39th marathon?
· This year, a new record of marathon applicants was broken. Out of the 414,168 applicants, at least 66,000 were from overseas.
· Another record that was broken is the number of people who finished the marathon, with more than 40,000 runners crossing the finish line. Thanks to the astonishing participation rates, more than £1 billion were raised for various charities.
· It is always exciting when runners manage to cross the finish line, but this year, one of the participants caused more excitement than usual. Luke Bates, a 30-year-old runner, was raising money for two Alzheimer-related organizations. Bates, who already participated in the marathon in previous years, wanted to do something different this time around.
Wearing a Big Ben costume the entire time, Bates also wanted to break a Guinness World Record, which he wasn’t successful in doing. At the end of the race, Bates needed assistance in crossing the finish line since his costume was too high. The moment was caught on camera and caused quite an uproar among the spectators.
· Another memorable finishing moment featured Hayley Carruthers, an elite runner. Mere meters from the finish line, Hayley’s legs gave way, and she had to crawl over the finish line. Later on, Hayley reported that she started feeling ill halfway through her run. But even though she went down before finishing the race, the elite runner managed to come in 18th place in addition to beating her personal record by three minutes, finishing the race in 02:33:59.
· Marathon participants were not the only ones that caught the media’s attention. This year, instead of handing the runners plastic water bottles, volunteers provided the participants with biodegradable seaweed pouches called Ooho!. Runners were instructed to eat or discard of the pods, which are designed to disintegrate within six weeks – making them more environmentally-friendly.
Have you noticed those little details when watching the event on TV? Or maybe you ran the marathon yourself?
A Bit of History
The London Marathon was first hosted in 1981, and since then became one of the top six long-distance international marathons. In 2010, Virgin Money started sponsoring the event, which is why the marathon is now known as the Virgin Money London Marathon.
The 26.2-mile course runs mostly along the River Thames and allows the runners to pass some of London’s most renowned locations, such as the London Eye and Tower Bridge. More than 75% of the people who decided to enjoy the scenery did it for charity, even though most of them (at least 55%) had never run a marathon beforehand.
The London Marathon is a major event that celebrities and politicians often attend, and the BBC covers the event live every single year since it was established.
The London Marathon is one of the biggest events that take place in the UK capital, capturing the attention of locals and sports fanatics from overseas.
This year’s marathon broke numerous records, and it seems that the event becomes more popular with every passing year. What will happen the next time London will host the marathon? Only time will tell.