Find out how to take on the TCS London Marathon for charity 
 
Ivo Graham and Rosie Jones

News

19-04-2024
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Comedians Rosie Jones and Ivo Graham to start wheelchair races at the 2024 TCS London Marathon

Comedians Rosie Jones and Ivo Graham will be the official starters of the 2024 TCS London Marathon elite wheelchair races this Sunday, 21 April. 

Jones and Graham will hit the starter button at 09:05, as they send Paralympic hero David Weir and Boston Marathon winner Eden Rainbow-Copper on their way. Weir is preparing to compete in his 25th consecutive London Marathon on Sunday, alongside wheelchair superstar Marcel Hug, who returns to London off the back of triumphing at the Boston Marathon on Monday (15 April). 

Weir and Hug will be joined on the Start Line by Boston Marathon champion Rainbow-Cooper who this week became the first British woman to win in Boston. Joining them will be reigning London Marathon champion Catherine Debrunner.

Long-term friends Jones and Graham will not only start the wheelchair races, but they will also take part in the 2024 TCS London Marathon together as one of ten assisted wheelchair teams. Jones, who has cerebral palsy, will be pushed around the 26.2-mile course in a wheelchair by her fellow comedian, Graham, as they raise money and awareness for two charities close to their hearts: UP, the Adult Cerebral Palsy Movement and MS Society. 

Jones said: “It has always been my dream to take part in the London Marathon, but to be honest, I was always too lazy to train, so when Ivo offered the opportunity for me to sit in the wheelchair and be pushed the entire way, I thought, ‘Why not?’

“To be able to take part and raise money for UP, the adult cerebral palsy movement, means so much to me. It’s important to raise awareness of the brilliant mobility aids out there to make it possible for people like me to take part in such an iconic event. 

“I’m very proud to be starting the elite wheelchair races this weekend – to be in the company of athletes like David Weir, Eden Rainbow-Cooper is inspiring. I hope everyone has a fantastic day and if you see us on Sunday, give us a cheer!” 

Graham said: “It’s surreal and thrilling to be starting the elite wheelchair races this weekend. We consider ourselves little more than a pair of chancers with a megaphone, so to have a proper official role in proceedings is a true honour.

“We’re so excited to be doing the London Marathon together and to be representing not just the MS and cerebral palsy communities, but anyone whose life, and opportunity to do things like this, is affected by disability. We’d be so proud to play a part in inspiring any of those people to give the London Marathon a go - they’ll have as much of a blast as we expect to have this Sunday!”

In a significant and historic moment for disability sport, the TCS London Marathon has become the first marathon in the world to make its prize money for wheelchair and non-disabled athletes exactly the same. 

The TCS London Marathon wheelchair races were already the richest in the world, but a further increase of $54,500 to the prize money in 2024 means the total prize pot stands at $308,000 (£247,500), creating parity with the non-disabled athletes.

This means that all winners in the elite races of the 2024 TCS London Marathon on Sunday 21 April will receive $55,000 (£44,000), with the runner-up earning $30,000 (£24,000) and third place taking home $22,500 (£18,000).

A number of new initiatives have been introduced at the 2024 TCS London Marathon to support participants with a disability, including: 

  • Mobiloos at the Start and Finish. The toilet and changing facility will be manned and available for disabled participants.
  • A quiet space for people who are neurodivergent just before the halfway point of the course, south of Tower Bridge, and in the Finish Area – these safe spaces will have noise-cancelling headphones and beanbags.
  • Sign language will also be provided at the Running Show on Friday and Saturday for the main stage presentations.
  • Accessible viewing areas will be available along the course and at the Finish Area to support those with any accessibility needs such as mobility issues, frailty or neurodivergence.

Jasmin Paris and Dame Kelly Holmes were announced as official starters of the elite women’s and elite men’s and masses, respectively, yesterday.