40,000 people take to the capital’s streets for the 2022 London Marathon

2 October 2022, 12:13 | Updated: 3 October 2022, 07:44

Tens of thousands of people took part in the 2022 London Marathon
Tens of thousands of people took part in the 2022 London Marathon. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

The London Marathon is underway with 40,000 runners taking to the streets of the capital.

There was a poignant tribute to the Queen ahead of the race, with a moving rendition of the national anthem, before elite and amateur runners alike began the 26.2-mile course through the capital.

Over 40,000 people set off on the eagerly-awaited 26.2-mile race from Blackheath in south-east London to the finish line on The Mall.

Elite athletes - including Marcel Hug and Catherine Debrunner - had already claimed victory in the wheelchair races on Sunday morning by the time most of those taking part began their runs in front of cheering crowds.

Celeb Mark Wright completed the marathon
Celeb Mark Wright completed the marathon. Picture: Alamy

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They included charity fun runners in colourful costumes, people undertaking a personal challenge and those wanting the chance to enjoy the incredible atmosphere which London always offers.

Lionesses Leah Williamson, Jill Scott and Ellen White - who were part of England Women's Euro 2022 winning team - got things under way as official race starters in Blackheath.

Viktoriia Kiose from the Ukraine celebrates after completing the TCS London Marathon
Viktoriia Kiose from the Ukraine celebrates after completing the TCS London Marathon. Picture: Alamy

Among those taking part is Rob Duncombe, chief pharmacist at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, who is running for charity wearing an "absolutely stunning" 8ft tall oak tree costume.

The 54-year-old, from Chelmsford, Essex, who is running on behalf of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, is hoping to beat the Guinness World Record for the fastest marathon dressed as a tree (male), which stands at four hours, five minutes and six seconds.

A woman dressed as a teletubby completes the gruelling course
A woman dressed as a teletubby completes the gruelling course. Picture: Alamy

Actor Stephen Mangan, who is running for Marie Curie UK, joked that "for reasons I've yet to fully understand I'm running the London Marathon" as he urged people to sponsor him to help raise money for "an incredible charity".

Met Office meteorologist Steven Keates predicted that the day will be "cloudy with outbreaks of rain, perhaps on the heavy side at times, during the morning", with showers pulling away to the south through the early afternoon.

He added that "winds look mostly light and variable" and temperatures will start at 11C at around dawn "rising to 13C/14C for the race start, peaking around 17C mid-afternoon".

Runners take part, pictured here near Canary Wharf
Runners take part, pictured here near Canary Wharf. Picture: Alamy

Mr Keates said: "Spectators may need to bring an umbrella, as the weather may not be the best when standing around."

Both runners and spectators had to contend with rail services that started later than usual following Saturday's strikes by the RMT union, the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA) and Aslef, the drivers' union.

Organisers had advised people to plan ahead, but said they were "very grateful" to Southeastern and Network Rail for their help in ensuring that train services from central London to the starting point on Sunday morning ran as planned.

Sunday's TCS London Marathon marks the third time it has taken place in October after it was moved due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Organisers said the race will be returning to its traditional spring slot in 2023 with the ballot for places to run on April 23 open until 9pm on October 7.

Eliud Kipchoge, who is not running in this year's race after his world record-breaking run in Berlin last weekend, handed out medals at Saturday's TCS Mini London Marathon which saw thousands of children take part in 2.6k and one-mile events.

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