It’s the event that attracts thousands of runners to the streets of London, and thousands more to cheer friends and family on. The 2011 Virgin London Marathon took place yesterday, and Sophie Morton was there to witness what is arguably Britain’s most famous race.
Starting at Blackheath, the 31st London Marathon took a slightly altered route in that runners did not have to go around the burnt out Cutty Sark in Greenwich. The elite races were hotly contested, with Kenyans Emmanuel Mutai and Mary Keitany claiming the golds.
In the wheelchair events, David Weir took his fifth gold medal, meaning the British racer became the most successful wheelchair athlete in London Marathon history. It was almost a British double win, but Shelly Woods lost out to American Amanda McGrory, who set a course record during a close finish in the women’s event.
As usual, in the amateur race, there were several world record attempts taking place, including the fastest marching band and the fastest superhero. There were some well-known faces also taking part for charity, with model Nell McAndrew managing to achieve a personal best of 3 hours 8 minutes. PC David Rathband, blinded by gunman Raoul Moat in Cumbria last year, completed the race in 6 hours 49 minutes.
Photographs of the day’s events are below, or you can also check out a minute-by-minute account of the race.