Tens of thousands of people will take to the streets of London this weekend, some as athletes and others in fancy dress, to complete the 43rd edition of the London Marathon.
Here, the PA news agency explains all the key information about one of the world’s biggest fundraising events.
– When is the London Marathon?
The TCS London Marathon is taking place this Sunday (April 23), the race’s 43rd edition since its inception in 1981.
It will be the first time since 2019 that the marathon has been held in the spring after the previous three editions were moved to October due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
– What is the route of the marathon?
The 26.2-mile course starts at Greenwich Park, circling around Charlton before passing the Cutty Sark and heading through Deptford and Rotherhithe.
After crossing the Thames over Tower Bridge, the course turns east through Canary Wharf before shooting back towards Embankment and the London Eye.
A long approach to Buckingham Palace then leads to the finish line on the Mall.
A non-binary gender option was offered to applicants in this year’s marathon ballot for the first time, in a bid to make the event more diverse, equitable and inclusive.
A total of 118 non-binary runners will be taking part in the race, with 58,015 people in total signing up.
The oldest person running this year’s marathon is 90-year-old David Picksley, whilst Lana Dales, who turns 18 the day before the event, will be the youngest participant.
In another first, participants have been offered the option to opt out of receiving an official finisher’s T-shirt and have a tree planted instead.
The official Charity of the Year for the race is Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.
– Who has run the fastest London Marathon ever?
Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge set a new men’s record in the marathon in 2019 when he finished in a time of two hours, two minutes and 37 seconds.
The women’s record is held by Great Britain’s Paula Radcliffe, who completed the marathon in two hours, 15 minutes and 25 seconds back in 2003.
Amos Kipruto of Kenya won the elite men’s race in 2022, while Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw was victorious in the women’s race.
Marcel Hug and Catherine Debrunner, both from Switzerland, came out on top in the men’s and women’s wheelchair races respectively.
– Who are the main contenders this year?
Four of the five fastest men in marathon history will be competing against one another in this year’s race, with Kenenisa Bekele, Kelvin Kiptum, Birhanu Legese and Mosinet Geremew all having ran under two hours and three minutes.
The women’s field is equally as strong, and includes defending champion Yehualaw, marathon world record holder Brigid Kosgei and Peres Jepchirchir, Olympic champion at the 2020 Tokyo Games.
Great Britain’s Eilish McColgan was due to make her marathon debut, but withdrew due to a knee problem.
Among the famous faces participating in the London Marathon this year are radio presenter Chris Evans, McFly drummer Harry Judd and Olympic curling gold medallist Eve Muirhead.
Ten Members of Parliament will also be running, including Conservative Alun Cairns, MP for Vale of Glamorgan in Wales who was the fastest MP last year, and Labour’s shadow levelling up minister Alex Norris.
– What records could be broken at the marathon?
Guinness World Records has said that 71 people will be attempting to set or break records at this year’s marathon.
This includes the fastest marathon with an ileostomy, being attempted by DJ Adele Roberts, and the fastest marathon wearing wellington boots.
– Where can I watch it?
Viewers at home can watch the marathon on BBC One from 8.30am to 2.15pm, and on BBC Two from 2.15pm to 3pm. It will also be available to stream on BBC iPlayer from 1pm to 6pm.
In total, the marathon will be broadcast in 197 countries globally.