Tuesday April 5, 2016
What do you think of when you imagine the London Marathon? For many people, it’s a mixture of the greatest and best-known London sights, mixed with the spectacle of thousands of runners trying for their personal best times. While we watch to see who will win the elite races, it is just as exciting – if not more so – to see who achieves their own personal dreams when it comes to individual runners.
Every year, we see people in fancy dress. We see people raising money for all manner of different charities. We see people taking part just to see if they really can complete the 26-mile, 385-yard course that takes them past many of the highlights of the city of London.
The race begins at Blackheath, with the actual start point depending on which race is being run. The River Thames provides a backdrop for much of the race, which sees the runners go past the Cutty Sark, St James’s Park and of course The Mall. Indeed, this is where the runners complete their marathon run, finishing within sight of the Palace.
The first London Marathon took place in 1981, which means it is now 35 years since the first one occurred. Numbers have swelled since then, both in competitors and spectators. Will you be cheering anyone on this year if you go along to see it in person? Maybe you’ve got a spot in the marathon and you are going to take part yourself. Whatever the case may be, you have a chance to bet on who you think will win the women’s elite race, the men’s elite race and the wheelchair races among others.
Every mile is marked for the competitors to see how well they are doing. They’ll remember the halfway mark, as this is achieved when they cross Tower Bridge. Incredibly, there have been only a few changes to the route compared to how it was when the race first began. Occasionally, construction works have necessitated a change to the route, but other than that it has been mostly the same throughout its 35-year history.
But will we see a winning time this year, with a new record set? And who will take the winner’s position in each of the races? Tune in to find out.