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A record number of runners are expected to stomp through the streets of the capital this morning as they take part in the London Marathon.

Amongst the 50,000 professional and amateur runners will be Olympian James Cracknell and ‘Hardest Geezer’ Russ Cook, who earlier this month became the first person to run the entire length of Africa

Other famous faces include 20 MPs and peers – the most in the event’s history – including Chancellor Jeremy Hunt.  

Miles of road closures are in place across the city with security railings line the 26.2 mile route, with police lining the roads amid the the threat of disruption from protesters. 

There was 30 seconds of applause held before the race begins in memory of last year’s elite men’s race winner Kelvin Kiptum, who died in a car accident in February at the age of 24. 

And they’re off! More than 50k runners take part in London Marathon – with famous faces including Olympian James Cracknell and ‘Hardest Geezer’ Russ Cook participating in 26.2-mile race across the capital

Runners in fancy costumes arrive in Greenwich Park ahead of the start of the marathon

A record number of runners are expected to stomp through the streets of the capital this morning as they take part in the London Marathon

A record number of runners are expected to stomp through the streets of the capital this morning as they take part in the London Marathon

Amongst the 50,000 participants will be the 'Hardest Geezer' Russ Cook, who earlier this month became the first person to run the entire length of Africa

Amongst the 50,000 participants will be the ‘Hardest Geezer’ Russ Cook, who earlier this month became the first person to run the entire length of Africa

Former health secretary Matt Hancock is among those to take part in London Marathon today

Former health secretary Matt Hancock is among those to take part in London Marathon today

The start of the men's elite race. Pictured: Ethiopia's Tamirat Tola, Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele, Ireland's Stephen Scullion, Ethiopia's Leul Gebresilase and Brian Shrader of the U.S.

The start of the men’s elite race. Pictured: Ethiopia’s Tamirat Tola, Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele, Ireland’s Stephen Scullion, Ethiopia’s Leul Gebresilase and Brian Shrader of the U.S. 

He set a new London Marathon record of two hours, one minute and 25 seconds last year with his third win, and set a new world record of two hours and 35 seconds in Chicago in October. 

Those taking part will be treated to balmy weather of 12C on a dry and bright day as they take on the mammoth task.

Police are on standby amid a threat of potential protests from pro-Palestine and Israel demonstrators – with bosses of the event urging them not to disrupt the Marathon and focus on ‘coexistence and togetherness’. 

Previously the marathon – which is one of the largest in the world – has been threatened with protests in the past, with Just Stop Oil saying last year it would ‘never rule out anything’.  

Bosses at the event say measures are in place to protect participants and prevent potential protests.

Last week London Marathon Director, Hugh Brasher, said: ‘What we’ve always tried to do is bring people together. Coexistence and togetherness is what the London Marathon is all about.

A competitor dressed as a Minion as runners leave the start of the TCS London Marathon

A competitor dressed as a Minion as runners leave the start of the TCS London Marathon

Those taking part will be treated to balmy weather of 12C on a dry and bright day as they take on the mammoth task

Those taking part will be treated to balmy weather of 12C on a dry and bright day as they take on the mammoth task

Participants arrive at Blackheath before the start of the Marathon this morning

Participants arrive at Blackheath before the start of the Marathon this morning 

Participants in this year's London Marathon queue as they arrive at Blackheath Common before the race

Participants in this year’s London Marathon queue as they arrive at Blackheath Common before the race

People wave Palestinian flags as they gather at the side of the London Marathon course today

People wave Palestinian flags as they gather at the side of the London Marathon course today

‘And we hope that message will resonate with anyone who thinks it is a good thing to disrupt the race, because it isn’t.’

All four winners of the elite races will receive £44,000, with the runner-up receiving £24,000 and third place £18,000.

David Weir, who will be racing his 25th consecutive London Marathon on Sunday and has won eight times, said he had not expected the change to happen in his lifetime.

Event director Hugh Brasher said the event will be “more inclusive than before” with support for more than 200 disabled participants as well as a faith space and a quiet space for neurodivergent participants in the finish area.

There are female urinals, sanitary products available for anyone who needs them, and a family support area which includes a private breastfeeding area.

Jasmin Paris, the first woman to complete the ultra-endurance Barkley Marathons, will start the elite women’s race at 9.25am on Sunday before Dame Kelly Holmes, who won two gold medals at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, starts the elite men’s race and mass event at 10am.



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