6 facts you didn’t know about the London Marathon

In just a few hours, the London Marathon 2015 will begin.

It’s thought that the oldest person to run the London Marathon was Buster Martin, a plumber no less, who was 101 years old when he ran the 26.2 miles in 2008. What did he say as he crossed the finish line? “Where’s my beer!?”

Sadly, he passed away in 2011 at the age of 104, but his legacy lives on. Buster’s plumbing firm said he worked right up until the day before he died, and he even features in an American documentary by Mark Wexler called How to Live Forever.

Here are six1 other little-known facts about the London Marathon.

  1. The first ‘marathon’ took place in 1908 and was actually part of the Olympic Games. Initially set at 26 miles, organisers extended the run by the extra 386 yards so runners would cross the finish line in front of the royal box.
  2. In 1981, the first official London Marathon took place, with 6,225 people taking part.
  3. The first wheelchair marathon took place in 1983 and was completed by 17 people. Britain’s Gordon Perry won the race in a time of 3:20:07.
  4. In 2003, Paula Radcliffe broke the women’s record in 2:15:25 – this remains unbeaten.
  5. At £2,330,159.38, the record for the highest amount raised by a runner was set in 2011 by Steve Chalke. Funds reached £51.8 million.
  6. In 2014, the course record was set by Kenyan Wilson Kipsang, who crossed the finish line at 2:04:29.

Today, more than 35,0002 participants will be running the London Marathon with three-quarters of a million spectators cheering them on. From the whole team here at WPJ Heating, we wish you all the best of luck!

1 The Standard, 2015. London Marathon: 26 facts and records from the capital’s big race. [Online] Available at: http://www.standard.co.uk/sport/london-marathon-26-facts-and-records-from-the-capitals-big-race-10196016.html.
2 The Week, 2015. London Marathon 2015: start times, route and runners to watch. [Online] Available at: http://www.theweek.co.uk/63469/london-marathon-2015-start-times-route-and-runners-to-watch.
[All information sources accessed 24th April 2015].

There's more