Virgin Money London Marathon

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Overview

Be part of the Virgin Money London Marathon. Whether you run, walk or cheer from the sidelines, this is a London sporting institution.

Every year, approximately 30,000 people run the 26.2 mile (42.2km) marathon through the streets of London.

Some run for personal achievement, some to raise money for their favourite charity. Many run in outrageous fancy-dress. Previous years' costumes have included a giant penguin, a London bus, Superman, and a slow-moving snail. The Virgin Money London Marathon is open to all abilities, from beginners who walk the course to professional athletes.

The route runs along the south of the Thames and then the north side after crossing the river on Tower Bridge. From Greenwich and Blackheath to Buckingham Palace, runners pass some of the capital's famous landmarks, including the London Eye and the Tower of London.

With such vast and impressive scenery, it's no wonder the organisers have dubbed it a "historical jog around London".

History of the London Marathon

The London Marathon was created after the former Olympic champion Chris Brasher returned from running the New York Marathon. He was so inspired by the sight of more than a million people from different cultures united by this one challenge, he felt London had to have its own marathon.

After months of studying the race organisation and finances of big city marathons, Brasher established the organisation's charitable status. His vision was realised on 29 March 1981 with the inaugural London Marathon. It was an instant success.

London's Marathon: For Fun and Charity

Each year, millions of people watch and cheer from street corners and London pubs. You could call it London's 26.2-mile street party!

And whether you're supporting from the sidelines or sweating it out the track, at the end of the day the winners are the charities. Since the beginning in 1981, the participants have raised more than £500m for charity.

Practical Information

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