|It's a long way to the finish
This weekend, around 35,000 runners filled the streets of
London, running the 26th annual London Marathon. The course is
26.2 miles long (42 km), and goes past many of London’s landmarks, such as the
Tower of London, the famous 19th century ship Cutty Sark, the Houses of
Parliament and Buckingham Palace. The runners actually run over Tower Bridge.
Among the elite athletes running,
Britain’s Paula Radcliffe was unable to defend her title from
last year’s race due to an injury. The women’s race was won by American Deena
Kastor in 2 hours 19 minutes, and Felix Limo from Kenya won the men’s race in 2
hours 6 minutes.
However, Britain still made a good showing, as
British woman Mara Yamauchi came in sixth, whilst in the
wheelchair marathon, Britain’s athletes excelled . Shelly Woods
came second in the women’s race, and David Weir not only won the men’s race for
the second time, but also set a new record of 1hour 29 minutes.
But in the London Marathon, everyone who finishes is a winner –
for many thousands of people their goal was merely to complete
the race and gain their finisher’s medal. The oldest competitor was 88 years old
and the youngest just 18. About 80% of the ‘fun runners’ – those not competing
professionally – were running the race to raise money for their
chosen charity, and it is estimated that this year good causes
will receive more than ￡35 million.
Some of the athletes ran or walked in fancy
dress, ranging from monkey suits to fairies, clowns and superheroes.
One couple chose to get married half-way round the race, and ran in traditional
wedding attire – a full length white dress for the bride, and
for the groom , a top hat and tails.
The event is very popular with spectators, and around 400,000
people braved London’s drizzle to cheer on the runners and give them
encouragement by cheering, waving flags and balloons and blowing whistles.
A challenging but fulfilling day for the runners, and an
inspiring and exciting event for spectators too.
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