Marathon

I have two favourite sporting events, the Cambridge and Oxford Boat Race, and the London Marathon – which happened today, for the thirty-eighth time. The ruby anniversary of the event will be in 2021 – I wonder how many people will take part then! Over 414 people applied to the ballot for places, and more than 40,000 people took part! That’s more than the individual populations of

Coventry
Nottingham
Belfast
Newcastle
Portsmouth
Plymouth
Brighton and Hove
Aberdeen
Swansea
Southend
Oxford
York
Blackpool
Cambridge

The runners are divided up into elite athlete and ‘the rest’; among the elite there are separate categories for men, women, wheelchair races, and disabled people – and before it starts there are mini-marathons for children.

Most of the 40,000 ordinary racers who took part did it to raise money for charity, and in total over the years, over 1 billion pounds that’s £1,000,000,000 has been raised. Most people run in ordinary gear, but many people dress up – today I saw a pillar box, Big Ben, an Aston Martin – the runner carrying it was actually called Aston Martin, animals of every kind real and imaginary, including a bumblebee and a rhinoceros, painted people, nearly naked people… it’s just amazing, and so moving! yes, I know they were all moving, but I was very moved emotionally, at the stories, the achievements, the reasons why they were running, who they were running for, truly inspirational! (I am not inspired to do it myself, I know i just couldn’t – a swimming marathon maybe, if I were younger…)

The elite athletes races were won by Eliud Kipchoge and Brigid Kosgei and Daniel Romanchuk and  Manuela Schar in wheelchairs. They won technically in that they came in first, but everyone who took part was a winner!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/athletics/48083112

Featured image thanks to Jeff Wallis 210159 https://pixabay.com

 

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