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World record holder Peres Jepchirchir




Records tumble as London celebrates its biggest marathon

A record number of people will finish the TCS London Marathon on Sunday making the 2024 edition the biggest ever in the event’s history. 

The day also saw Peres Jepchirchir win a thrilling sprint finish to break the women-only world record, with fellow Kenyan Alexander Mutiso Munyao claiming the men’s title ahead of Ethiopian legend Kenenisa Bekele who eclipsed his own masters’ record for over-40s. 

Meanwhile, Swiss pair Marcel Hug and Catherine Debrunner took the wheelchair titles as Britain’s David Weir made the men’s podium for the 21st time in 25 consecutive races. 

A record number of more than 51,000 finishers had already crossed the line by 17:50 today after 54,218 set out from Greenwich and Blackheath this morning. 

With the official Finish Line open until 19:30, the 44th London Marathon is already by far the largest since the event started in 1981 – eclipsing last year’s edition when 43,965 finished the race. 

It completed a record-breaking weekend after 12,904 young runners took part in the biggest-ever TCS Mini London Marathon on Saturday. 

“It was a glorious day, a day full of records,” reflected Event Director Hugh Brasher. “We have had record numbers, record runs, and we expect to raise record sums for charity. This really is London at its best.” 

It was marathon racing at its best too, as Jepchirchir triumphed in a fast and frantic four-way fight for the line between some of the fastest women in history. The Olympic champion crossed the line in 2:16:16, beating the women-only world record by 45 seconds, while Munyao outran Bekele to make it a day of double joy for Kenya. 

It was a great day for Britain too as Emile Cairess took third in 2:06:46, the second-fastest time ever by a British man, with Mahamed Mahamed fourth. Both are now likely to clinch the final two cherished spots on the GB Olympic team. 

There was another record in the wheelchair races as Hug claimed a fourth straight title, his sixth overall, while Debrunner led from the first push to finish just 30 seconds outside her own course record. 

Behind the elites came the masses, runners of all ages, abilities and backgrounds bobbing their way over the capital’s streets in unprecedented numbers, many thousands raising money for good causes. 

Among them were a host of celebrities and 44 Guinness World Records breakers, including Lloyd Martin, who became the youngest-ever male marathon finisher with Down’s syndrome, and Jackie Scully’s 10-person team who steered their bus home in 6:32:05 to become the quickest finishers in a 10-person costume. 

Chris Newton was again the fastest of the famous faces, the former cyclist cruising home in 2:38:28 just ahead of former para-athlete Richard Whitehead whose time of 2:42:01 was inside the current IPC world record in the T61 category. 

The self-styled ‘Hardest Geezer’, Russ Cook, completed the 26.2-mile challenge in 4:25:40 just two weeks after his epic 10,000-mile meander up the length of Africa, saying afterwards: “It is not quite the Sahara Desert, but it is great to be back on UK turf.  

“The energy from the crowds in London is unparalleled and I encourage anyone to do this marathon, the Brighton Marathon or any other. Running has given me everything. It has changed my life.” 

Actors were out in force too with Ruth Wilson and Christopher Eccleston both suffering on the London stage with tired legs and stiff calves before making it to the close. 

Ever-present Chris Finill passed under the gantry for the 44th successive time, finishing just outside three hours, while Manchester United co-owner Jim Ratcliffe captured the mood of the day after his “eighth or ninth marathon”, saying: “London is the best event of all. I haven’t experienced anything like it.” 

The 2025 TCS London Marathon will take place on 27 April next year. The ballot for entries opened on Saturday (20 April) and will close on Friday 26 April at 21:00.