Tag Archives: 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon

London Marathon sets another world record

The 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon raised a record-breaking £63.7 million for charity, setting a new world record for an annual single day charity fundraising event for an incredible twelfth successive year.

The new record was an increase of more than £2 million on the previous record total of £61.5 million raised from the 2017 event. It brings the overall sum raised for charity since the event was founded in 1981 to more than £955 million.

The total raised for charity by the London Marathon since Virgin became title sponsor in 2010 is now more than £500 million. Virgin Money Giving is the not-for-profit fundraising partner of the London Marathon and donations to charity linked to the race through the online service have reached more than £170 million.

Jo Barnett, Executive Director at Virgin Money Giving, said: “Once again the generosity of the public around the Virgin Money London Marathon is truly astounding and we are delighted to be able to play our part in raising money for so many worthwhile causes. A staggering half a billion pounds has been raised for charity since Virgin Money became lead sponsor of the London Marathon and we are delighted to be involved with an event that is not only the highlight of the running calendar but also the largest single day annual fundraising event in the world. The 2018 race saw us beat our own fundraising record and we’ve made a number of improvements to the Virgin Money Giving fundraising platform to help charities raise even more money next year.”

Hugh Brasher, Event Director, said: “Every year, the Virgin Money London Marathon inspires thousands to take on the challenge of running the famous 26.2 miles and raise these incredible sums for charity. We salute every runner who has contributed to this amazing world record total of £63.7 million, a truly incredible sum from a one day event.

“Since 1981, the London Marathon has been an extraordinary force for good that has inspired profound social change. We are constantly working to grow the event and its positive impacts as society, health services and charities face ever-increasing pressure on their services and funding. The London Marathon Charitable Trust has enabled hundreds of thousands more people to get active through its funding of a huge range of recreational projects.”

Several charities, including Children with Cancer, Teenage Cancer Trust, Macmillan Cancer Support, Mind, Whizz-Kidz, NSPCC and Cancer Research UK, raised more than £1 million from the 2018 race.

Emily Roff, Senior Sports Events Manager for Children with Cancer, the top fundraising charity in 2018, said: “The 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon was a record breaking year for Children with Cancer UK. We raised more than £3 million, making this our single biggest fundraising event which generates around 20 per cent of our annual income.

“We are delighted to have raised such an incredible amount to fund vital specialist research to help save the life of every child with cancer and keep their family together. We’d like to say a huge thank you to London Marathon Events as well as all of our dedicated runners. We’re looking forward to making 2019 another record breaking year.”

Her Majesty The Queen started the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon from Windsor Castle and, in the hottest ever London Marathon, there were a record 40,273 finishers. Eliud Kipchoge, who broke the world record in Berlin last weekend, took his third London title and fellow Kenyan Vivian Cheruiyot won the women’s race. Sir Mo Farah showed the world his marathon ability as he finished third in a British record. David Weir won a record eighth wheelchair title and Madison de Rozario scored her first Abbott World Marathon Majors win as she took the honours in the women’s wheelchair race.

The 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon takes place on Sunday 28 April. It has already set a world record after 414,168 people applied for a place via the public ballot – again the biggest number of applications for any marathon in the world.

Source: virginmoneylondonmarathon.com

Bekele targets marathon record at London Marathon

Kenenisa Bekele is already regarded as one of the greatest distance runners of all time but breaking the marathon world record would be the crowning achievement of his glittering career, the Ethiopian track legend said today ahead of his bid to win the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday.

Bekele already holds the second fastest official marathon time ever, and has owned the 5000m and 10,000m track world records since 2004 and 2005 respectively.

But the 35-year-old said he is as hungry as ever to add another world best time to his list of achievements as he targets a first victory in the world’s greatest marathon, where he has placed third and second in the last two years.

“I want to try my best to break the world record,” Bekele said. “I don’t know when or where but that’s what keeps me angry and motivated.

“It’s more than 10 years since I set the 5000m and 10,000m records, and to have the marathon record as well would be so special. To have the records for 5000m to marathon would be something – no one else has done that. I feel like that would make me the greatest ever.”

Bekele’s list of achievements is as long as any other distance runner in the world. With three Olympic golds, five World Championship crowns and 12 world cross country victories to his name, plus stunning marathon wins in Paris and Berlin, and a world indoor title at 3000m, he has demonstrably mastered every form of the sport.

Yet despite running quicker than 2 hours 6 minutes four times on his eight starts over 26.2 miles, including 2:03:03 in Berlin in 2016 – just five seconds outside Dennis Kimetto’s world record – he is far from satisfied and feels he has much still to prove at the distance.

“I am not happy with my marathons so far, with only two good results from eight races,” he said. “My marathon achievements do not balance with my track career yet and I want to put that right.

“In the past I have found marathon training a bit boring but when you plan to achieve something great you need to do what’s necessary and I am more motivated now. I am enjoying the training these days.”

Bekele has failed to finish in three of his marathons, including the Berlin race last September, won by Kenya’s Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge who will be his biggest rival for the men’s elite title on Sunday.

Kipchoge has won all but one of his nine marathons, including two in London, and a third would make him joint most successful men’s champion alongside Mexico’s Dionicio Ceron and fellow Kenyan Martin Lel.

Bekele was third behind Kipchoge on his London debut in 2016, when he described himself as only 90 per cent fit, and second last year, when he almost caught the leader Daniel Wanjiru in the final miles despite running much of the race with blisters.

This year, after injury-free training and with new racing shoes to protect his feet, he feels ready to make the next step up the podium and become only the third Ethiopian man to win the London crown.

“I was injured in the last years during the race but that’s all gone now,” he said today. “I have been preparing very well and am happy with my shape. It’s much better than last year.

“Every race is different, of course, with different competitors and different conditions, and we can see from the forecast we may have a warmer day for the race this year, and that changes things.

“But I don’t want to think about breaking records on Sunday, I just want to focus on the race.”

Bekele’s opponents on Sunday include two compatriots in Guye Adola, who threatened to upset Kipchoge on his rain-drenched debut in Berlin last year, and Tola Shura Kitata, last year’s Frankfurt Marathon champion, plus Sir Mo Farah who succeeded him as a double Olympic track champion and has been training for the London Marathon on Bekele’s track in Ethiopia.

“I’m sure he’s prepared well,” said Bekele of Britain’s big hope. “I saw him at my sports centre and he was training well. I think he’ll be ready to run a fast time.”

Unlike Bekele, Adola doesn’t have so much of a track pedigree but the 27-year-old made his mark on the marathon with a bang in Berlin when he carved out a 25-metre lead that Kipchoge only managed to close in the last couple of miles.

He finished in 2:03:46 to become the second fastest Ethiopian ever behind Bekele and the fastest first-timer in marathon history. On paper he is the third quickest in this year’s London field behind the big two and a major threat to their ambitions.

“I was very happy with my time in Berlin. It was my first marathon so it was a great way to start,” he said today. “But I know the marathon is very difficult and sometimes your results go up, sometimes down.

“My preparation has been good for London. Of course, Eliud and Kenenisa are very strong athletes but I will try to stay with them on Sunday.”