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Record numbers to run London Marathon


Record numbers are expected to start the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon tomorrow morning, Sunday 23 April, after more than 40,000 registered for the race over the last four days.

When registration desks at the London Marathon Expo at ExCeL London closed at 17:00 today, a total of 40,382 accepted applicants had picked up their race packs.

Around 40,000 are predicted to start the race, following last year’s record field of 39,523, meaning the 37th London Marathon is on track to become the biggest yet, proving that more people than ever before have a #ReasonToRun the 26.2 miles from Greenwich to Westminster.

With the weather expected to be near ideal for marathon running, the 2017 race is on course to beat the record figure of 39,140 runners who completed the event in 2016.

Many thousands among the Marathon’s record field are expected to wear Heads Together headbands and answer the call of the charity’s figureheads, Prince Harry and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, to make the 2017 race ‘the mental health marathon’.

Each and every one of them will have their own special #ReasonToRun, while many thousands have contributed to a social media campaign that’s already appeared on more than 50 million Twitter timelines, a figure that’s expected to grow towards 100 million by the end of tomorrow’s event.

Just a few hours earlier, the runners will receive a royal send-off on their challenging journey when Prince Harry and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge start the men’s elite and mass races at Shooters Hill in Blackheath.

They will push the traditional red button at 10:00, while Britain’s Olympic champion rowers Heather Stanning and Helen Glover will set the world’s best elite wheelchair racers off in pursuit of London Marathon glory at 08:55, followed five minutes later by some 70 of the world’s top para-athletes competing for their countries in the other five races of the World Para Athletics Marathon World Cup.

The event’s best ever elite women’s field will begin their quest for one of the most prestigious big city marathon titles at 09:15.

The elites will be followed by thousands of club athletes, fun runners, charity fundraisers, celebrities, politicians and fancy dress costume wearers.

First under the famous finish gantry in The Mall will be the best young runners and wheelchair racers in the country competing for honours in the Virgin Money Giving Mini London Marathon, which will be started at 08:40 by Tottenham Hotspur’s latest young midfield star, Harry Winks.

The finish will have a royal flavour too when Prince Harry presents trophies to the top three elites and the World Para Athletics Marathon World Cup racers, while retiring BBC commentator Brendan Foster will be handed the John Disley Lifetime Achievement Award.

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