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Living Hall of Fame on World Earth Day




Race champions join London Marathon Living Hall of Fame on Earth Day

The four champions of the 2024 TCS London Marathon elite races planted trees on Earth Day today (Monday 22 April) and joined the London Marathon Living Hall of Fame. 

Peres Jepchirchir, Alexander Mutiso Munyao, Marcel Hug and Catherine Debrunner each planted a tree in Paddington Recreation Ground, in the London borough of Westminster, 24 hours after they tasted glory on the iconic TCS London Marathon Finish Line. 

They were joined by Hugh Brasher, TCS London Marathon Event Director, and children from St Saviour’s School in Maida Vale who took part in the TCS Mini London Marathon on Saturday (20 April).  

The London Marathon Living Hall of Fame began in 2022 when four-time men’s champion Eliud Kipchoge planted the first tree.  

Over the next decade, more than 150 trees will be planted in locations across London for every elite race winner in the London Marathon history as part of the event’s commitment to inspire environmental sustainability. 

For the Kenyan pair of Jepchirchir and Munyao, the 2024 TCS London Marathon men’s and women’s champions, the tree planted by each represents their famous wins yesterday. Olympic champion Jepchirchir broke the women-only world record to win in 2:16:16 while Munyao outlasted 41-year-old Kenenisa Bekele (ETH) to record the biggest win of his career in a time of 2:04:01. 

Catherine Debrunner’s tree reflects not only yesterday’s victory in the women’s wheelchair race but also her win in 2022 while Hug, the men’s wheelchair race winner, planted a tree which represents his six wins (2014, 2016, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024). 

Debrunner and Hug were the winners of the largest slice of the biggest prize pot in wheelchair racing history which, in a historic first, was exactly the same as the non-disabled elite athletes. Each elite champion at the 2024 TCS London Marathon received $55,000 (£44,000). 

Reflecting on his win yesterday, Switzerland’s Hug – who became the first men’s wheelchair athlete in history to win four consecutive London Marathons – said: “It was unbelievable to win here in London again and in the year when the prize money has been made equal is very special. It [equal prize money] is something I never dreamed would come true, and now it is, and I’m really grateful.” 

Hug’s Swiss counterpart Debrunner, who won yesterday’s elite women’s wheelchair race by more than six minutes, the biggest winning margin in this category in 17 years, said: “It was a tough race with one of the toughest women’s fields ever, so I’m really proud to have won. The equal prize money is a huge step and so important. I don’t think any of the wheelchair athletes imagined this step would come so early and I’m really grateful that the TCS London Marathon decided to be the first to do it.” 

New women-only world record holder Jepchirchir revealed she had spoken to Mary Keitany after her victory yesterday. It was Keitany’s 2:17:01 world record, set when the Kenyan won in London in 2017, that Jepchirchir beat. 

Jepchirchir said: “I knew the women-only world record would be beaten but I wasn’t expecting it to be me. When I watched the London Marathon before and saw Mary Keitany, who is my mentor, winning, I told myself, ‘One day, I am going to win’, and my dream has come true. I have spoken to Mary since my win and she congratulated me and I’m so happy because she is happy for me.” 

Munyao, whose victory came in his first Abbott World Marathon Majors race, said: “It felt great to be running next to Kenenisa Bekele for victory. I was thinking that whether he wins or I do, I will be happy. But to cross the line first and to get the biggest win of my career in my first Abbott World Marathon Major was very special.” 

Other athletes to be inducted into the London Marathon Living Hall of Fame include: 

  • Eliud Kipchoge 
  • Paula Radcliffe 
  • Ingrid Kristiansen 
  • Liz McColgan 
  • Eamonn Martin 
  • Catherina McKiernan 
  • Gordon Perry
  • Joyce Smith 

The tree planting was arranged to take place at Paddington Recreation Ground by Westminster City Council and ActiveWestminster, which aims to activate lives and neighbourhoods across the City of Westminster.