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British Queen celebrates


A record-breaking 50,000 runners are participating in this year's London Marathon, marking what organizers have touted as the most inclusive event to date. Against the backdrop of a dry and

sunny day with temperatures expected to reach 12C, participants of all ages have descended upon the capital to tackle the iconic 26.2-mile route, many donning colorful costumes in support of various charitable causes.

Among the notable participants is comedian and TV presenter Romesh Ranganathan, running in support of the Campaign Against Living Miserably, following the launch of his new Radio 2 Saturday morning show. Also making headlines is "Hardest Geezer" Russ Cook, fresh off his impressive feat of running the entire length of Africa, who is now supporting the Running Charity.

In a historic first, the event has seen the largest contingent of MPs and peers, including Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, taking to the streets alongside fellow runners.

In the elite races, Switzerland's Marcel Hug clinched victory in the men's wheelchair race for the fourth consecutive year, crossing the finish line in a remarkable time of one hour, 28 minutes, and 38 seconds. Meanwhile, Catherine Debrunner secured the top spot in the women's wheelchair race, besting her competitors with a time of one hour, 38 minutes, and 52 seconds.

A notable change in this year's event is the equal prize money awarded to both wheelchair and non-disabled athletes, with all four elite race winners receiving £44,000 each. This move towards equality has been warmly welcomed by athletes and spectators alike.

Event director Hugh Brasher emphasized the event's commitment to inclusivity, highlighting the support provided for over 200 disabled participants, as well as dedicated spaces for participants with diverse needs in the finish area.

As runners embark on this challenging journey, the spirit of unity and solidarity pervades, with a touching tribute to last year's elite men's race winner, Kelvin Kiptum, who tragically passed away in February. The race kicks off with 30 seconds of applause in his memory.

Amidst the excitement and anticipation, Ethiopia's Tigst Assefa sets her sights on breaking the women's world record marathon time, aiming to surpass her own remarkable feat achieved at the Berlin Marathon last September.

With the London Marathon serving as the world's largest annual one-day fundraising event, expectations are high for another successful year of raising vital funds for thousands of charities, following last year's impressive total of £63 million. Photo by Katie Chan, Wikimedia commons.