From SPORTING INTERESTS London Marathon
23 April, Greenwich Park to St James's Park, London

Inspired by Olympic champion Chris Brasher's experience at the New York Marathon, the London Marathon was established in 1981. The inaugural event attracted over 20,000 runners; 7,747 were accepted and 6,255 crossed the finishing line.

Ever since then the event has grown in size and popularity, both for participants and spectators. More than 36,000 runners finished the first 2010 London Marathon, the first ever to be sponsored by Virgin.

The overall winner was the Ethiopian runner Tsegaye Kebede, who crossed the line in 2h 05min 19sec, just nine seconds outside the course record and the third fastest ever since the London Marathon started in 1981.

The Virgin London Marathon is world-famous as a charity fund-raising event, and spectators - and television audiences - are entertained annually by the thousands of runners who undertake the gruelling 26.2-mile run in fancy dress.

The race starts in Greenwich Park; from here the runners head east to Woolwich, then double back to the Cutty Sark on the Greenwich waterfront, and on to Bermondsey, Canary Wharf and Limehouse. The run then carries on through the heart of historic London, passing the Tower of London and Nelson's Column, before finishing at St. James's Park.

www.virginlondonmarathon.com/
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