7 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About the London Marathon

“Run, Forrest, run!” – That iconic quote from Forrest Gump

As far as personal fitness challenges go, there’s little more gut wrenching, moving and rewarding than a marathon: 26.2 miles of continual running over a mix of urban or suburban terrain (we’re tired just writing about it).

Now, of all the world’s big running events, the London Marathon is one of the most prestigious, with a record-breaking 40,000 runners pounding the pavement at last year’s event alone.

Whether you’re one of the brave and honourable London Marathon 2018 runners, you’re going to be cheering on a friend or rather than getting a sore throat from chanting or a sweaty bum and sore nipples from running, and you’re just heading out to soak up the atmosphere, here are seven things you might not know about the event. Seven facts that will get you in the mood for the latest instalment of the mighty London Marathon.

Let’s get started…

One. A philanthropic spectacle, a whopping £50 million is raised for charity each year through the London Marathon, and over three-quarters of annual runners raise money for a charitable cause of their choice – wow.

Two. You see all sorts of weird and wonderful things at the London Marathon. In 2011, Freestyle footballer John Farnworth took on the 26.2-mile challenge (successfully) while keeping the ball in the air between his right and left foot the entire time (yes, you did read that right). He completed the run in 12 hours 15 mins – there is a time limit or around eight hours, but surely we can let him off for such a gargantuan effort, right?

Three. If you thought John was slow, check this out:  the slowest ever London Marathon runner took five days and eight hours, This rather impressive record belongs to a certain Lloyd Scott who completed it wearing a 110lb deep-sea diving suit.

Four. The London Marathon is an emotional event indeed. Croydon-based couple Mick Gambrill and Barbara Cole were the first people to get wed during the London Marathon. The panting pair stopped at Charlton House to be joined in holy matrimony by a registrar – fair play to them.

Five. This most legendary of marathons brings out the very best in people. In 2011, London-based reverend Steve Chalke MBE raised the most money ever at any marathon in the history of the world, gaining an incredible £2,330,159.38. That’s quite incredible.

Six. Cor, it’s a dehydrating business this marathon is: during a tough race on a hot, humid day, runners stand to lose up to four litres of fluid through sweating and respiration alone. No wonder they give out water and Lucozade Sport throughout the course.

Seven. The pros have their own agenda. The Elite athletes usually bring their own specially prepared drinks which are gathered on the Saturday night prior to the run and stored in secure, cool conditions before being labelled and taken to the appropriate 5km points.

Whatever your role in this year’s London Marathon, we hope you will join us in celebrating this inspirational event. And for all you runners out there, we salute you.

For more personal inspiration, check out our 2018 bucket list and tell us if you have any suggestions of your own by leaving a comment.