Virgin London Marathon

On the 22nd April 2012 the city of London will be filled with people from all walks of life; ordinary Joe’s will be rubbing shoulders with celebrities and professional athletes alike, as all of them will be taking part in the annual Virgin London Marathon.  The London Marathon is not so much a race as an institution these days, with people training all year round to make sure they are fit enough to complete the 26.2 mile (42.2km) course.

Photo by Martin Allen
Photo by Martin Allen

Run It Your Way

With a staggering 30,000 people set to pound the streets how you cover the distance is up to you – providing it’s on foot of course!  Those with the stamina run the whole course attempting to keep up with the professional’s timings; others walk the course proud to be a part of the experience, whilst a hardy number will don clumsy and bulky fancy dress costumes to compete in.  The London Marathon is not just about who covers the distance in the shortest time, or even personal achievement; it is about promoting awareness and raising money for a whole host of charitable organisations.

The Marathon Route

The route that the marathon follows takes in many of the city’s famous landmarks, runners make their way along the south bank of the Thames before crossing over Tower Bridge, the course also takes in the sights at Greenwich and Buckingham Palace as well as the iconic London Eye and the stately Tower of London.  Of course the route will also be lined with thousands of spectators, well wishers and family members of the runners taking part, all of which adds to the incredible atmosphere that fills the city during the event.

This Year’s Celebrity Runners

Amongst the many celebrity participants this year will be Christopher Ecclestone, who despite his long and rewarding stage and screen career is probably more recognisable as the ninth incarnation of Time Lord Dr Who.  Chris will be running in support of Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.  Also running will be Hell’s Kitchen’s Superstar Chef Gordon Ramsey who will be running to raise money for the Scottish Spina Bifida Association; we had better hope that nobody gets in his way!  Music phenomenon Will Young is also set to run the course this year, looking to raise as much money and awareness for his chosen charity Catch 22 (helping Young People Out), these are just a few names out of the long list of celebrities that are set to take part on the 22nd.

Real People, Real Stories

Many of the other runners taking part in the marathon will all be looking to raise money for their favourite charities.  Many of these people will have lost friends and family to the diseases for which they now run to raise funds for research into.  So as those enthusiastic runners pass you by, give them a special cheer as not only are they running with a clear goal in mind, many of them will be running with a broken heart.

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