Early on Monday morning, several of the Virgin London staff were finally sitting down. After the past two weeks, I was surprised that the team had not just collapsed! As of Sunday evening,
8 pm Local time, 36,549 had finished the Virgin London Marathon!
Congrats to Virgin for becoming a London sponsor and note that Sir Richard Branson, not only started the elite men’s race, he ran 5:02 with friends, dressed up with butterfly wings! Mr. Branson was one of the more subdued outfits, which included one gentleman who ran the marathon with a 45 lb refrigerator on his back!
Virgin London Marathon 2010
25 April 2010
Record numbers finish the first Virgin London Marathon
More than 36,000 runners finished the London Marathon today, the first ever to be sponsored by Virgin.
By 7pm this
evening, 36,549 had crossed the finish line in The Mall after Sir
Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, had set a record 36,984
on their way from Greenwich, the largest field ever in the 30th
year of the event. Another record number, 37,527, had registered to run
by close of play on Saturday from more than 51,000 accepted applicants.
At the end of 26.2
miles it was the Tsegaye Kebede who led them home, the Ethiopian
becoming the first non-Kenyan to win the men’s race since his
compatriot Gezahegne Abera triumphed in 1993. Last year’s runner-up,
Kebede turned silver to gold as he crossed the line in 2:05:19, just
nine seconds outside the course record and the third fastest ever since
the London Marathon started in 1981.
Kebede, crossed the
line with more than a minute to spare over Emmanuel Mutai as the Kenyan
finished second in 2:06:23, while the evergreen Moroccan Jaouad Gharib
was third for the second year in a row in 2:06:55.
became the first Russian to win the elite women’s race as she produced
a commanding performance to smash her personal best by more than two
minutes in 2:22:00. Inga Abitova made it great day for Russia when she
was second in 2:22:19 with Aselefech Mergia of Ethiopia third in
2:22:38, both also inside their previous lifetime bests.
defending champions, Sammy Wanjiru and Irina Mikitenko, both dropped
out with injuries, while Britain’s Mara Yamauchi finished 10th in
2:26:16, the trials of her much-publicised six-day journey to London
taking its toll.
first-timers, Josh Cassidy and Wakako Tsuchida, took the wheelchair
titles. Cassidy became the first Canadian since Daniel Wesley in 1992
to win the men’s race, while Tsuchida was the first ever Japanese
winner of the women’s.
David Weir and Shelly Woods, both suffered punctures in the final
stages and were third and sixth respectively.
Among the masses of
personal triumphs on a day of changing weather conditions were a record
18 Guinness World Record breakers, including the tallest giraffe at
5:55:11; the fastest baby, the actor Tony Audenshaw, in 3:13:30; and
the fastest TV character (a dalek) in 4:01:40.
As usual, many
turned out in fancy dress and many thousands more ran to raise money
for hundreds of charities. There was one Royal winner, in Princess
Beatrice, who crossed the line in 5:13:03 as part of a 34-person human
caterpillar, claiming a Guinness World Record for the most linked
runners to run a marathon.
The chain also
included Sam and Holly Branson, Sir Richard’s children. Sir Richard
himself crossed the line 5:02:24 surrounded by his team of celebrities.
The youngest men to finish were James Bruton and Ed Hall, who both celebrated their 18th
birthdays on race day. Bruton clocked 4:59:05 and Hall 4:31:23. The
youngest woman was Sarah Jane McKelvey at 18 years and 10 days. She
finished in 6:24:04.
The oldest man was
Jerzy Kolodziej, aged 86, who finished in 6:35:00, while the oldest
women, Irene Clarke, aged 83 crossed the line in 8:13:23.
received medical attention during the day (as did 174 members of the
public around the course); 47 were taken to hospital.
The ballot to enter the 2011 Virgin London Marathon opens online at 9.00am on 4 May. Go to www.virginlondonmarathon.com