London Marathon champions and legends plant trees in Greenwich Park on the eve of World Earth Day
In a drive to inspire environmental sustainability, London Marathon champions and legends gathered in Greenwich Park today (Friday 21 April) to plant trees in the London Marathon Living Hall of Fame on the eve of World Earth Day.
The group included:
- Paula Radcliffe, London champion in 2002, 2003 and 2005, who set her world record in London 20 years ago this year
- Ingrid Kristiansen, four-time London champion (1984, 1985, 1987 and 1988)
- Liz McColgan, London champion in 1996
- Eamonn Martin, the last British man to win the London Marathon, celebrating the 30th anniversary of his victory in 1993
- Catherina McKiernan, London champion in 1998
- Gordon Perry, winner of the first men’s wheelchair race in 1983, celebrating 40 years since that inaugural win
- Lisa Wilding, daughter of London champion Joyce Smith, who won in 1981 and 1982
The first tree in the Living Hall of Fame was planted last October, just before the 2022 TCS London Marathon, by world record holder and four-time London Marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge.
Over the next decade more than 150 trees will be planted for every London Marathon champion since 1981 at different locations along the famous route.
Athletes showed their commitment to environmental sustainability during the ceremony ahead of World Earth Day, a day dedicated to the protection of the environment amid the growing threat of climate change.
Hugh Brasher, Event Director of the TCS London Marathon, said: “It’s fantastic that Paula, Ingrid, Liz, Catherina, Eamonn and Gordon, and Joyce’s daughter Lisa, could be with us today to plant trees in the London Marathon Living Hall of Fame to celebrate their London victories. We hope these trees, so close to our famous Start Line, will not only inspire environmental sustainability but will also inspire generations of marathoners to come.”
Graham Dear, Park Manager at Greenwich Park, said: “Greenwich Park, one of London’s eight Royal Parks, has proudly hosted the start of the London Marathon since its inception in 1981. The planting of seven small-leaved lime trees near the marathon route in the park is a fitting way to celebrate the London Marathon Living Hall of Fame and the wonderful athletes here today.”
Paula Radcliffe added: “It’s a brilliant initiative. The running community has a lot more perspective now and can put a lot more value on the importance of the environment and the world we live in.
“The marathon makes a difference; the fact people are running and there are fewer cars on the road brings cleaner air. There are only a certain number of T-shirts you can fit in the cupboard, or medals you can hang somewhere, so planting a tree to make a difference for the future is something we can all get behind.
“We want our children and grandchildren to be able to breathe in fresh air and compete in events like this for many years to come.”
The London Marathon Living Hall of Fame is one of the most visible elements of LME’s work to drive positive change in environmental sustainability. To find out more, click here.