Learn more about London Marathon
The London Marathon is a marathon race that has been held each year in London since 1981, usually in April. While it is run over the traditional distance of 42.195 km [26 miles and 385 yards], it is not the conventional marathon it was intended to be; it has become a large, celebratory sporting festival. It is the second largest marathon in the world in terms of participants.
The London Marathon was founded by former Olympic champion and renowned journalist Chris Brasher, who was influenced by the New York Marathon and aspired to establish a race of this scale. In the 1908 Olympics, the length of the course was 26 miles 385 yards to White City, thus setting the standard length of modern marathons ever since.
The London Marathon came into existence on March 29, 1981, when nearly 7,500 athletes participated in the race. By the 25th event the number of starters reached 35,680. The earliest known organised marathon to take place in London was during the 1908 Olympics, however this was a different course to the modern one we know today.
Whilst it is a serious athletic event, with large prize money attracting elite athletes, public perception of the race is dominated by the fun runners. Sometimes in ludicrous fancy dress and often collecting money for charity, these make up the bulk of the 30,000+ runners and help to draw crowds of half a million on the streets.
On April 19, 2003, former boxer Michael Watson, who had been told he would never be able to walk again after a fight with Chris Eubank, made headlines by finishing the marathon in six days, becoming a national hero in England.
The next London Marathon will take place on Sunday, April 22, 2007.
Run over a largely flat course around the River Thames, the London Marathon is generally regarded as a very competitive and unpredictable event, and conducive to fast times. The record times are shown in bold below and also highlighted in the history tables:
- 2:05:38 for men (Khalid Khannouchi, USA) in 2002 and
- 2:15:25 for women (Paula Radcliffe, UK) in 2003.
 Men's race
 Women's race
 Men's wheelchair race
|2002||David Weir||Image:Flag of the United Kingdom.svg||1:39:44|
|2003||Joel Jeannot||Image:Flag of France.svg||1:32:02|
|2004||Saúl Mendoza||Image:Flag of Mexico.svg|
|2005||Saúl Mendoza||Image:Flag of Mexico.svg||1:35:51|
|2006||David Weir||Image:Flag of the United Kingdom.svg||1:29:48|
 Women's wheelchair race
|1997||Tanni Grey-Thompson||Image:Flag of the United Kingdom.svg|
|1998||Tanni Grey-Thompson||Image:Flag of the United Kingdom.svg|
|1999||Tanni Grey-Thompson||Image:Flag of the United Kingdom.svg|
|2000||Sarah Piercy||Image:Flag of the United Kingdom.svg||2:23:30|
|2001||Tanni Grey-Thompson||Image:Flag of the United Kingdom.svg|
|2002||Tanni Grey-Thompson||Image:Flag of the United Kingdom.svg||2:22:51|
|2003||Francesca Porcellato||Image:Flag of Italy.svg||2:04:21|
|2004||Francesca Porcellato||Image:Flag of Italy.svg||2:05:00|
|2005||Francesca Porcellato||Image:Flag of Italy.svg||1:57:00|
|2006||Francesca Porcellato||Image:Flag of Italy.svg||1:59:57|
 See also
 External links relating to running
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to:|
- www.london-marathon.co.uk: Official website
- www.london-marathon.info: private website (how2enter, route, stats, reports, photos)
- realbuzz.com - Running, health and fitness site, also creators of the Flora London Marathon website
- Runner's World (UK) website
- Guide to entering the London Marathon
- RunnersForum.co.uk London Marathon Page
 External links relating to charities
- Fundraising service for London Marathon runners to build online sponsorship pages The London Marathon is the UK's single biggest one day charity fundraiser. Over £31 million pounds was raised for charity in 2002.
- Get Kids Going - Run the London Marathon for disabled children - Tanni Grey Thompson is their patron
- Amnesty International needs your support
- Cancer Research UK needs your support
- -Central London Summer Charity Race,The British 10K attracts 30,000 runners each summer raising funds for UK & International charities.af:Londen-maraton