Thursday, October 21, 2021

Sunshine and Smiles as the London Marathon Returns

There were many smiles and some sunshine as the London Marathon returned to the streets of the capital.

More than 40,000 runners trod the traditional 26.2-mile (42.1-kilometer) route from Greenwich to The Mall after last year’s race was scrapped due to COVID-19 restrictions.

After Olympic BMX silver medalist Kay White started the main race, marathon organizers Virgin Money London said “So much smile, so nice to have you back!”

It’s been 889 days since a grand charity event was held for the last time in front of a cheering crowd.

A bunch of fun runners don outrageous costumes, including dressing up as a rhino, bumblebee, superhero and a giant nurse, to help raise money for their favorite charity.

Since the race was first run in March 1981, the London Marathon Charitable Trust has awarded grants of over £93 million ($126 million) to more than 1,490 projects in London and across the UK.

There was a dry start to the race, which took place under cloudy skies with sunshine and strong winds.

Smiling former Health Secretary Matt Hancock gives a thumbs-up after completing his run.

The shadow health secretary, Jonathan Ashworth, previously wished Hancock the best he ran for his local hospice, but joked that “Obviously don’t agree with him politically, but hope the run goes well.” [wish I was running now just so I could beat him!]”

Labor MP Charlotte Nichols ran for the Warrington Wolves Foundation, which helps local projects tackle a range of issues, including holiday hunger and promoting good mental health.

Dame Barbara Windsor widower Scott Mitchell ran a marathon in her memory and to support the work of Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Dame Barbara—known for her appearances in the films “Carry On” and “EastEnders” as matriarch Peggy Mitchell—died in December 2020 at the age of 83 after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s.

Virgin Money London Marathon 2021
Runners in fancy dress cross Tower Bridge during the London Marathon 2021 in London on October 3, 2021. (Steven Paston/PA)

Several retired sports stars, including former London Marathon winner Liz McColgan, footballer Danny Mills and Olympic gold medalist cyclist Danny Rowe, also pulled their trainers to participate.

Former rugby league players Jamie Peacock and Kevin Seinfeld ran for charity. Former Leeds Rhinos scrum-half Rob Burrows, who was diagnosed with motor neuron disease in 2019, wrote on Twitter: “Well done to JP and Kevin for smashing the marathon today. I am very proud to call you a friend.”

Newlywed two-time Olympic rowing champion James Cracknell, who crossed the line in just under 2 hours 55 minutes, told the BBC: “I think it’s the biggest testament to what people have done in the past year.

“He has done most of his training on his own when he was not allowed to go out. To be honest, this is the first time in the last year and a half that everyone is moving in the same direction without people having different opinions.

“That’s what’s really best about being British – people clap their partners, their partners, their charities, and everyone else clapped.”

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Formidable fundraiser Claire Lomas, who is paralyzed from the chest down, said it was going to be a “hard push” as she raced into full motorcycle gear.

Lomas, who in 2012 became the first person to complete a marathon in a “bionic” suit, broke her back in an equestrian accident in 2007, and turned her devastating injury into a positive by raising thousands of pounds for charity.

DJ Chris Evans, vet Noel Fitzpatrick, actress Tanya Franks, and former “Blue Peter” presenter Peter Duncan were also among the runners.

There were a multitude of strange and wonderful world records for runners who took a quirky approach to the race.

Jane Faulkner won the title of fastest marathon runner dressed as a three-dimensional plant in 4:05:18, while Jazz Clements, who ran as Bender from “Futurama”, was the fastest three-dimensional man in 3:55:27. TV character. .

Siddharth Paralkar, who completed the course in 3:50:44, is the fastest male marathon runner dressed in a safari suit, while Liv Anderson, who appears as Henry VIII, finished as the fastest female in 3:39:50. an emperor.

Guinness World Records also stated that Troi Baxter and Carey Bullen, who clocked 3:30:08, are the fastest pair of women to run the race in handcuffs.

Sarah Dudgeon and Max Livingstone-Liermont—who was dressed as a dog—were the fastest two-person outfit at 3:17:12.

Last year’s marathon was replaced by a virtual run where participants chose their own path and this year 40,000 more participants will earn their medals by participating in the virtual event.

Sunday’s outing was the first time the two events took place simultaneously and the first time runners faced the marathon’s traditional route in October instead of in the spring.

There were no bags at the start and runners were instead asked to leave any items at the finish line at the Excel Center when they collected their numbers.

There were no volunteers hanging medals around the necks of the finishers, who instead found their medals in their bags.

Large groups did not wait at the start line together and instead participants set in over 40 waves over a 90-minute period, with no official pacers this year.

The runners had to be able to show a negative lateral flow test for COVID-19.

Sisay Lemma became the first-time winner of the men’s race with an impressive run of 2:04:01, while Joycelyn Jepkosgi won the women’s elite in a time of 2:17:42.

Marcel Haug and Manuela Schaar both set course records for winning the men’s and women’s wheelchair races.

Eight-time winner David Weir, who completed his 22nd consecutive London Marathon to finish third in the men’s wheelchair race, told the BBC: “It’s nice to be back on the old course and have a little bit of crowd support.”

by Helen William

the countryside



This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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