Berkeley, London Marathon

Why We Loved the London Marathon Event This Year

One of the most famous running races in the world, the London Marathon has been held every year since 1981, which may make it much younger than marathons held in cities like Boston and New York, but it's already managed to build up a reputation as one of London's top events.

The London Marathon takes place every April across a whole weekend and covers 26.2 miles across the capital from Blackheath through Greenwich before crossing the river over Tower Bridge and then onwards to the finishing line outside Buckingham Palace. Following the 39th event which took place at the weekend, we have taken a look at what made this year special...

The Scale

This year has been a record-breaking year in terms of the numbers of runners who applied to take part, 11,000 people took part in the 1981 marathon and this year 444,168 people applied in the ballot for a place - 56,398 were successful, with even more people lining the streets to enjoy the atmosphere and cheer on the runners. More than half of the runners had never taken part in a marathon before.

At our London Dock development in the heart of Wapping, residents enjoyed street food stalls and live music from Gauging Square as they cheered on runners at the half way point for the marathon.

During the event at the weekend, a team of eight runners were from TV show EastEnders and were running in support of Dementia Revolution, the event's charity of the year for 2019 and a cause notable for the EastEnders cast who ran on behalf of Dame Barbara Windsor who was diagnosed in 2014 with the disease.

The ballot for 2020 is open and will end Friday May 3rd at 17:00, with places announced in October. If you don't succeed, you can always find a charity looking for runners. The 2020 marathon will take place on Sunday 26 April.

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The Winners

Of course, everyone is always interested to see who wins the race and how the reigning champions from last year will perform, this year didn't disappoint...

The men's race - Eliud Kipchoge won the race with a new course record - securing the second fastest time ever held. Sir Mo Farah also finished the race in a respectable fifth place.

The women's race - Brigid Kosgei from Kenya won the women's race this year with Vivian Cheruiyot finishing in second place, a turn of events as in the 2018 race it was Cheruiyot who beat Kosgei to the title.

Wheelchair races - Dan Romanchuk won the male race and Manuela Schar finished first in the female race. David Weir who is an eight-time winner of the event competed again for the 20th year in a row.

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Tackling Waste

One of the stories which stood out for most people this year was the event cracking down on single use bottles and replacing these as much as possible with seaweed pouches containing water and Lucozade Sport. The measure is part of the focus of organiser's to cut plastic waste and reduce the environmental impact of the marathon this year.

As well as seaweed pouches other changes were actioned, the overall number of drink stations were reduced from 26 to 19, race instructions were issued digitally rather than printed and 700 runners trialed new bottle belts made from recycled plastic.

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