The London Marathon is a long-distance running event, one of the worlds largest, held in London, United Kingdom. The event was first run on 29 March 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since.Since 2010, the race has been sponsored by Virgin Money, as the Virgin London Marathon.
The race was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organised by former 10,000m world record holder David Bedford as Race Director and Nick Bitel as Chief Executive. Set over a largely flat course around the River Thames, the race begins at three separate points around Blackheath and finishes in The Mall alongside St. James's Park. Since the first marathon, the course has undergone very few route changes. In 1982, the finishing post was moved from Constitution Hill to Westminster Bridge due to construction works. It remained there for twelve years before moving to its present location at The Mall.
In addition to being one of the top five international marathons run over the traditional distance of 26 miles and 385 yards (42.195 km), the London Marathon is also a large, celebratory sporting festival, second only to the Great North Run in Newcastle, in terms of the number of participants. The event has raised over £450 million for charity since 1981,and holds the Guinness world record as the largest annual fund raising event in the world, with the 2009 participants raising over £47.2 million for charity.In 2007, 78% of all runners raised money. In 2011 the official charity of the London Marathon was Oxfam....Read more
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