Image: Wikimedia Commons / Katie Chan

The 2024 London Marathon: A record-breaking event

On Sunday 21 April, over 53,000 people took part in the London Marathon.

This year, the event broke numerous records, one of which was broken before race day: 578,374 people entered the ballot for a place at the 2024 London Marathon – more than ever before.

Not only did the race feature a large numbers of runners, but it also saw large sums of money raised for charity. More than £67 million was collected, breaking the record for the biggest one-day fundraising event. The previous record was also set by the London Marathon when the race raised £66.4 million in 2019.

The event director of the London Marathon, Hugh Brasher, said: “That [it] is a wonderful achievement, and huge thanks [goes] to every single person involved”.

Jepchirchir ran the course in 2 hours 16 minutes and 16 seconds, making her the new world-record holder

Following her performance, Peres Jepchirchir made headlines. Jepchirchir ran the course in 2hours 16 minutes and 16 seconds, making her the new world-record holder for fastest the marathon time for a woman in a woman’s-only race. She was already an Olympic-medal holder, and now she is a world-record holder too.

Jepchirchir was followed closely by Tigst Assefa and Megertu Alemu, both of whom also beat the previous world record set in 2017 by Mary Keitany. Keitany had ran a marathon in 2 hours 17 minutes and 1 second.

The first-place man was Alexander Mutiso Munyao who, like Jepchirchir, is from Kenya. He ran the race in 2 hours 4 minutes and 11 seconds.

The men who finished in third and fourth were Emile Cairess and Mahamed Mahamed. These two GB athletes are set to go to Paris this summer to compete in the Olympics for Team GB.

Meanwhile two Swiss athletes emerged victorious in the men’s and women’s wheelchair races, with Marcel Hug and Catherine Debrunner finishing first.

Those competing in the elite category were not the only record breakers on the day; Lloyd Martin became the youngest person in his learning disability category, the intellectual impairment category, to complete a marathon. Upon finishing, Martin was presented with a Guinness World Records framed certificate.

The teenager has Down’s Syndrome and ran alongside his mum, who acted as his guide. Martin’s mum, Ceri Hooper, said: “In Lloyd’s words, it’s achieving his dream.”

Russell Cook, nicknamed ‘Hardest Geezer’, also crossed the finish line in London. Cook finished running the length of Africa on 7 April and participated in the marathon in collaboration with The Running Charity.

The Running Charity is one of the many charities that were involved in the marathon. This particular organisation combines youth work and community services with running. Cook helped to pace young athletes from The Running Charity who were participating on Sunday.

This year’s race also saw EastEnders do what no other soap has ever done before; they filmed scenes of their characters, Jay Brown and Honey Mitchell, running the London Marathon at the actual race.

The 2024 London Marathon pushed people to their limits, broke records, and raised millions for charities that help so many

The soap filmed the finishing scene prior to marathon day; however, the footage of the run was filmed during the actual race. Cast members Jamie Borthwick and Emma Barton, who play Brown and Mitchell respectively, completed the marathon themselves and were greeted by their onscreen family at various points in the race, as well as at the finish line.

It’s not only those that completed the 26.2 miles that were acknowledged; Iceland boss, Richard Walker, gave thanks to those who were working to ensure that the race ran smoothly and that everyone was safe.

Slightly over a mile before the finish line, Walker collapsed and was helped by St John’s Ambulance. He expressed his gratitude to the medics who helped him saying, “They were the true heroes of the day and I owe them my life.”

The 2024 London Marathon saw tens of thousands of individuals from different backgrounds complete a challenging task for different reasons. It pushed people to their limits, broke records, and raised millions for charities that help so many.


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