Today a record number of people are expected to run the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon, 22nd April to raise money for charity.
Around 41,000 are predicted to start the race today. Last year’s record number of 40,048 means the 38th London Marathon is on track to become the biggest yet! In the year the event celebrates its unique spirit.
Despite the warm weather predicted for Race Day, the 2018 event is on track to beat the record figure of 39,487 runners who completed the event in 2017.
Celebs running today include Gordon Ramsey, Scott Mills, Chris Evans, Katie Price and of course Bryony Gordon and Jada Sezer.
Judge Craig Mitchell will be running the London Marathon for The Running Charity, The Big Issue and Skid Row Charity. Skid Row Marathon follows a running group formed by Craig Mitchell, a 61-year-old superior court judge who runs alongside homeless people and recovering addicts every week. Skid Row Marathon will then be in cinemas nationwide for a special one-night-only release on May 9 – with tickets and information about screenings available here. Youcanfind out all of the latest film news by downloading the MyFilmClub app for FREE from the App Store or Google Play.
The #SpiritOfLondon theme will showcase the extraordinary stories of the London Marathon’s runners, champions, volunteers and supporters as more people than ever before take on the 26.2-mile challenge.
When does it start?
The London Marathon will start when Her Majesty The Queen steps onto a special podium in front of the Round Tower in the grounds of Windsor Castle to push the start button at 10:00am BBC Sport will relay live coverage of the start ceremony to the big screens at Blackheath to set runners on their way along the famous route from Blackheath to The Mall.Kathrine Switzer, one of the great trailblazers in the push for gender equality in sport, will set the world’s best elite wheelchair racers on their way in pursuit of London Marathon glory at 08:55, followed five minutes later by more than 90 of the world’s top para-athletes competing for their countries in the other five races of the World Para Athletics Marathon World Cup.The event’s best ever elite women’s field will begin their quest for one of the most prestigious big city marathon titles at 09:15, a race also started by Switzer. The American, who back in 1967 famously challenged the all-male bastion of distance running by becoming the first woman to officially enter and complete the Boston Marathon is looking forward to running her first London Marathon at the tender age of 71.
Among those competing for the prized London crown will be Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge, who has won eight of the nine marathon he’s run, and Ethiopian distance running legend Kenenisa Bekele, the second quickest man ever over the gruelling distance.
Defending champions and fellow Kenyans Mary Keitany and Daniel Wanjiru will be back in the capital looking for another win. A fourth victory in London for Keitany would equal Ingrid Kristiansen’s record, but Ethiopia’s three-time Olympic gold medallist Tirunesh Dibaba will be out to stop her.
Reigning champions David Weir and Manuela Schär will defend their crowns in the wheelchair races. Swiss para-athlete Schär, who set a new course record last year when she became the first woman to go under 1:40 on the London course, will relish the competition from four-time London champion Tatyana McFadden. The American triumphed in Boston on Monday in atrocious conditions that forced Schär to drop out for the first time in her career.
The elites will be followed by thousands of club athletes, fun runners, charity fundraisers, celebrities, politicians and fancy-dress costume wearers, including a record 17 MPs, 13 stars of The Great British Bake Off, two watches of Grenfell Tower firefighters, and 10 runners who make up #StephensTeam as they take on the race to fundraise for the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust 25 years to the day since he was murdered in a racially motivated attack in south London.
First under the famous finish gantry in The Mall will be the best young runners and para-athletes in the country competing for honours in the Virgin Money Giving Mini London Marathon, which will be started at 08:40 by British international and former Mini London Marathon runner, Callum Hawkins.
The finish will involve Royalty too when Prince Harry presents trophies to the top three elites and the World Para Athletics Marathon World Cup racers.
It’s going to be hot, hot, hot
Today is going to be hot, so whether you are participating
Statement from Hugh Brasher, Event Director, 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon reads:
“The weather forecast for tomorrow is still ever changing and currently predicts maximum temperatures of 20-22 degrees Celsius which means it could be one of the hottest London Marathons ever.
The weather forecast for Race Day tomorrow is for a bright morning with increasing cloud cover through the afternoon and a maximum temperature of 20-22C at 14:00. It will be a hot day and it is very important that you adjust your plans for Race Day accordingly.
Please read carefully the advice below from Professor Sanjay Sharma, Medical Director of the London Marathon.
We are most grateful to the London Fire Brigade for their assistance in creating four additional showers on the race route (see below for more details) in addition to the eight shower units we will put in place tomorrow.
Adapt your goal according to the conditions. In the conditions forecast for Sunday, you should slow your planned pace. If you were planning to run in fancy dress, please think carefully whether that is still appropriate in the conditions.
Listen to your body. If you feel thirsty, drink water. If you feel overly tired, slow down. If you feel unwell in any way, visit one of the 39 first aid stations on the course. Check out the locations of the first aid stations by downloading the Virgin Money London Marathon App.
Wear the appropriate clothing. This should ideally be lightweight moisture management clothing designed for use in warmer conditions (but remember that new clothing can chafe if it hasn’t been worn and washed).
Drink according to your thirst. There is water or sports drink available every mile from Mile 3 to Mile 25 on the course. Be careful not to overdrink – drinking too much water can be dangerous and lead to hyponatremia (water intoxication) – read more here
One bottle only at each water station. Please do not take more than one water bottle or compostable cup at any water station. There is plenty of water for everyone if you only take one.
Drink, Douse, Drain, Drop. When you take water, Drink if you feel thirsty. Douse your head and the back of your neck with the remaining water. If you don’t need all the water, check if your fellow runners would like it to douse themselves. Drain your bottle by squeezing out any unused water. Drop the bottle carefully on the ground for our recycling teams to collect.
Use the showers. We have increased the number of shower units on the course to eight. They are located at Miles 7, 9, 13, 15, 17, 20, 22 and 23 – remember to run through these if you need to cool down. There will also be showers outside the London Fire Brigade stations at Miles 5, 7.5, 15 and 23. Remember that as your running clothing becomes wetter, you may experience chafing. Consider taping sensitive areas such as nipples and using petroleum jelly to help prevent chafing.
Sunscreen. You may be out in the sun for several hours so remember to apply a good quality sunscreen to all exposed areas before you leave home.
Where to watch?
If you’re watching on TV, there’ll be live coverage on BBC One, BBC iPlayer, the BBC Sport website and various apps.
If you are going to be joining the excitement in London. Runners are entitled to free transport today. London is going to be very busy so you will need to pick your spot carefully. Pubs will be packed as it is a nice sunny day and certain routes will be incredibly busy! Tower Hill, St James Park will be packed, but I have set up along the embankment in previous years. Just remember to take drinks with you because it is going to be really hot today and drinks will be more expensive when you hit central London!
The official start times for the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 22 April are:
08:55 – London 2018 World Para Athletics Marathon World Cup in association with the Virgin Money London Marathon elite wheelchair race
09:00 – London 2018 World Para Athletics Marathon World Cup (ambulant athletes)
09:15 – Virgin Money London Marathon for Elite Women
10:00 – Elite Men and the British Athletics and England Athletics Championships for Men and Women and the Virgin Money London Marathon Mass Start
A specially formulated real-time pace guide can be found here.
The Official 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon App, powered by TCS, is available to download for iPhone and android too.
Bryony Gordon & Jada Sezer running in underwear
Bryony Gordon (Columnist and writer) and Jada Sezer (Plus size model) are both campaigners for mental health. Getting together to run the marathon in their underwear, we think this is just an awesome way of showing people that exercise if for everyone. Of course they are also raising money for an amazing cause. Something that is very close to my heart.
Bryony Gordon and Jada Sezer joined Kate Garraway and Ben Shepherd this week on Good Morning Britain. Wearing matching sports bras and pants, even Ben seemed a little lost for words.
Jada began: “I was never a runner, I couldn’t even run for the bus.
“But when I knew Bryony had run the marathon before, I thought ‘wow, I’d love to do it’ and she signed me up.”
Bryony added: “Then we thought, what if we do it in our underwear to really prove the point… [that curvier women can run too].”
Bryony Gordon is writer of Mad Girl & The Wrong Knickers and Eat, Drink, Run. She is a Telegraph columnist and writes at length about mental health issues. It was through meeting the Kate and Will (our Royals) that Bryony found herself signing up for the London Marathon. Heads Together is a foundation of charities, which supports the work of eight mental health charities (Mind, CALM, Place2Be, the Anna Freud Centre, YoungMinds, Contact, Best Beginnings and The Mix). Bryony herself is founder of Mental Health Mates.
Heads Together: Changing the conversation on mental health because when we get our #HeadsTogether we can achieve great things.