‘How I drank 25 glasses of wine and still finished the London Marathon in under five hours’

23 April 2024, 16:32 | Updated: 24 April 2024, 15:45

Tom Gilbey completed the marathon under five hours
Tom Gilbey completed the marathon under five hours. Picture: Tom Gilbey/Handout
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Tom Gilbey's last marathon was back in the 1990s, so it would be an understatement to say that he felt a little bit daunted by the prospect of tackling another one this year.

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But Tom, who specialises in wine-making and tasting, did exactly just that, with an added twist: he tasted a glass of wine for every mile of the London Marathon, which is 26.2 miles to be exact.

“It was all organised by my son, he was amazing,” Tom told LBC. “There were flags and he printed T-shirts so that I could actually spot where people were going to be.”

Obviously, Tom did not actually drink 25, full glasses of wine, but did get most of the first four.

He tasted and then spat the remaining 22, but that didn't stop his impressive ability to correctly identify most of the wines he was given by friends and family - and still finish in under five hours.

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“I started off quite well and was really enjoying them, until I got Jam Shed in mile seven,” Tom said.

“It tastes like p**s,” the wine connoisseur quipped on his viral TikTok video, and that was an understatement, he told me.

“I really don’t know why my son put that one there…it was almost as if I was lulled into a false sense of security.”

Despite facing a setback in mile seven, Tom says he had great fun, even if being recognised as the ‘wine guy from TikTok’ took some getting used to.

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Tom has been in wine tasting and events for almost all of his adult life, but the realm of social media still feels new to him, he told LBC.

“It was just great fun, people came up to me and said ‘oh, you’re the wine guy, do a taste’…it was all a bit surreal but I loved it.”

At the time of writing, Tom has raised more than £13,000 for Sobell House, who nursed and cared for his mum before she passed away.

Tom prepares for a glass of white wine mid-marathon
Tom prepares for a glass of white wine mid-marathon. Picture: Tom Gilbey/Supplied

But despite his success, Tom has no plans to compete next year.

“I was meant to enter last year but I was injured…they carried my entry over,” Tom explained.

“I’m still sore, I’m hoping to be okay by Thursday…but no, I won’t do it again next year, not if I still want to have a wife,” he joked.

You can donate to Tom's fundraiser for Sobell House here.