The 2023 TCS London Marathon will be the largest yet and celebrate the goodness of society
Hugh Brasher, Event Director of the TCS London Marathon, believes that this year’s event on Sunday 23 April will mark a defining point in its history, where supporters and participants – from everyday heroes to world-leading athletes – will unite to celebrate the immense positive impact of the occasion.
The 2023 event will be the largest London Marathon yet, with 45,000 participants expected to take on the famous 26.2-mile stretch from Blackheath to The Mall – and a further three quarters of a million set to support them on this journey.
An enormous number of participants will be fundraising for charity, too. Having raised a staggering £58.3 million for the 2022 event, participants are anticipated to go even further in 2023 and raise more than £60 million for good causes.
Protecting the event
There have been many questions about the Extinction Rebellion protest planned in Parliament Square over the weekend. Brasher said: “We have been talking with Extinction Rebellion for months, and it has been very clear that the organisation is in a new phase of wanting to engage the public in a different way and protect the TCS London Marathon.
“I have just come from a meeting with Extinction Rebellion. They will be uniquely asking all their participants to help guard the London Marathon. To do something that is quite unique in their history – to protect what is one of the crown jewels of British sport.
“The London Marathon is unique,” he added. “We run for clean air. That is so important in what we do. The environment is part of our DNA. And Extinction Rebellion has been very, very clear that they are in a new phase of wanting to engage the general public in a different way.”
Conversations with Just Stop Oil are also planned, and it is hoped the organisation will also help guard the event in the uniting spirit of We Run Together – the inspiring campaign for the 2023 TCS London Marathon.
Brasher continued: “We are reaching out to all parties because We Run Together. We Run Together for charity. We Run Together to celebrate humanity. We Run Together for our communities. And We Run Together in peace. So, we really hope for an amazing weekend, where the true goodness of humanity shines through.”
The TCS Mini London Marathon returns
In addition to the full marathon, for the second consecutive year the in-person TCS Mini London Marathon will also be held as a standalone event on Saturday 22 April.
This year, around 10,000 children aged four to 17 are set to take on either 2.6K or one mile for the biggest-ever TCS Mini London Marathon, and complete their distance in vibrant fashion on The Mall. The vision is to welcome 50,000 children to the event in 2030, mirroring the number of participants forecast for the mass TCS London Marathon in coming years.
Every participant who finishes the 2023 TCS Mini London Marathon will earn a £10 voucher from title partner TCS for their school to spend on PE or IT equipment. What’s more, every child across the UK who completes one mile for the 2023 TCS Mini London Marathon in schools can be part of an attempt to set a Guinness World Record for the most pledges received for an exercise campaign in one month.
Reflecting on the remarkable growth and popularity of the reimagined TCS Mini London Marathon so far, Brasher said: “This is an amazing British story. The important part is getting kids to enjoy running – the more youngsters we can get to be active, the better.”
Fascinating elite fields
Fast-forward to Sunday and some of the finest marathoners of this era will be out in pursuit of victory at the 2023 TCS London Marathon.
This includes the greatest-ever women’s elite field, not to mention an elite men’s field that features four of the five fastest male marathoners. The wheelchair races, too, will be the richest ever and see Marcel Hug and Susannah Scaroni – the winners of the 2023 Boston Marathon on Monday 17 April – attempt to win their second marathon within the space of a single week.
“I think the races are going to be fascinating,” said Brasher. “Who’s going to win? I do not have a clue. The marathon is a completely unpredictable event, so anything could happen on the day.”
He also reflected on the British field this year, which includes decorated homegrown legend Sir Mo Farah and marathon debutant Eilish McColgan, who has already broken British records across the 5000m, 10,000m and half marathon – to name but a few achievements.
Brasher said: “If this is going to be Mo’s last marathon, I hope the crowds gives him the best support – he deserves it. My expectation is that he runs with a smile on his face. As for Eilish, the last thing you need to do is put pressure on her for her first marathon. Whether it’s the start or end of her marathon career, I just want her to enjoy it – and I think her potential is unbelievable.”
No matter what the results for our elites or everyday participants, the TCS London Marathon weekend is sure to be an outstanding celebration of what people can achieve, united.