Inspired by Olympic champion Chris Brasher’s experience at the New York Marathon, the London Marathon was established in 1981. The inaugural event attracted over 20,000 runners; 7,747 were accepted and 6,255 crossed the finishing line.
Ever since then the event has grown in size and popularity, both for participants and spectators. An amazing total of 35,306 runners crossed the finishing line in 2009, while 750,000 spectators took to the streets of London.
The Flora London Marathon is world-famous as a charity fund-raising event, and spectators – and television audiences – are entertained annually by the thousands of runners who undertake the gruelling 26.2-mile run in fancy dress.
- The race starts in Greenwich Park; from here the runners head east to Woolwich, then double back to the Cutty Sark on the Greenwich waterfront, and on to Bermondsey, Canary Wharf and Limehouse.
- The run then carries on through the heart of historic London, passing the Tower of London and Nelson’s Column, before finishing at St. James’s Park.
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