2023 TCS London Marathon celebrity quotes
Perri Shakes-Drayton, former GB track athlete
“This is far. This is long. But then I think, can I do this faster? I tried to rein it in, but the crowds were amazing, and made me go along quicker than I wanted to. I’m literally hurting all over. I put the training in and was out early in the morning, but I really enjoyed this part of the preparation.
“There were a few puddles along the way but nothing major. I was surprised about the crowds all the way around the whole 26 miles! It’s much longer, in terms of support, than round a track. I definitely want to do it again!”
Jake Quickenden, TV personality
“I’m wearing a bone. I’m running for Sarcoma today, for my little brother who sadly passed away.
“When it rained it got double as heavy. I probably should’ve trained in it. Massively exceeded expectations, I’m a bit emotional, I was in hell when I crossed the line. I was hurting. Hopefully I hit my target, I wanted to raise £10,000.”
Selasi Gbormittah, former Great British Bake Off contestant
“Challenging but fun. This was my second marathon, this one was a little easier than the first. My headphones ran out at 20 miles, but the crowd kept me going. The atmosphere was incredible!
“Baking is still much more fun than this. I’m running for the Great Ormond Street Hospital. They’re a great charity, and it’s great to be a part of something.”
Heather Pearce, who ran as part of the Eastenders team in memory of Dame Barbara Windsor and was the first cast member to finish
“I feel guilty (about finishing first) to be honest, as we were running as a team. But our paces started to change, and I was conscious of injury. So, I ran with Lacey Turner’s sister, Daisy, and then I just had to go off on my own pace, and do my own thing.
“It’s been a bit emotional running with Bab’s army, because we are all very close as cast members. Going out training together is much more fun and wholesome than going down the pub! Although, we have spent quite a bit of time discussing our toilet habits. We do lift each other up. It’s been 15 years and three kids since I ran my last marathon, so I’m a bit disappointed not to go under 4:30, but I’m still happy to be here.”
On raising money for Bab’s Army:
“This is her legacy, led by her husband [Scott Mitchell]. It’s a wonderful charity, making huge progress! I didn’t know her but she is absolutely adored on set!”
Chris Evans, radio presenter
“I think we should do this twice a year, but it is great to have it back in the spring. I had a bit left at the end but I felt great. There weren’t any protests, and I had no concerns.”
Charlotte Jane, musician
“It was very humbling, but easily one of the best things I’ve ever done. I’m used to these conditions: this is my weather. I’m buzzing, I just wanted raise lots of money for ECHO. Mile 16 is the most vulnerable I’ve ever felt. I’m looking forward to a pint and a roast and seeing how I feel tomorrow.”
Mark Wright, TV personality
“This was my second London Marathon and I was striving for a better time but to be honest I found today much harder than the last one. I should’ve listened to Paula Radcliffe’s advice about sticking to pace. But still, I’ve beaten my time. I’m here and I’m standing. I’m here today to inspire people to make healthy lifestyle choice switches. Even if they walk the kids, take a flight of stairs instead of the lift, or do an extra 1K.”
On whether he would do it again:
“I’ve found it addictive. I never thought I’d do another one. The best way I can describe it is, I was chatting to a lady who said it’s the closest thing to giving birth. It’s a lot of pain on the day, but you feel so special and it’s all worth it once it’s done.”
Adele Roberts, radio presenter
“This is the best thing I could’ve ever done. The crowds were the best: they just didn’t stop cheering! 18 months ago when I got the bowel cancer diagnosis, the NHS removed it and I now have a stoma. And after 12 months of chemo, I am a testament to the NHS and friends and family who got me through this. I never imagined I would be a London Marathon finisher. I am so proud of my medal! I’ve called my stoma Audrey, and she ran really fast today, and set a PB!”
Sophie Raworth, broadcaster
“It was really hard, it never gets easier. My 11th London, my 19th marathon. I’ve had some problems with my calf and pushed a bit too hard. But very happy to have got through it.”
Eve Muirhead (OBE), former skip of Team GB’s women’s curling team and reigning Winter Olympic gold medallist
“It feels amazing to have finished it. To see all the people and all the smiles it’s great, what a great, great day. I’m running for the My Name'5 Doddie Foundation, which is such an amazing cause and I’m happy to be raising money and awareness for them today. Oh my god, the crowd are amazing! If it wasn’t for them, I’d still be stuck at halfway.”
Kevin Sinfield, English rugby union coach
“I really enjoyed it. It’s not getting any easier, especially when you see people putting themselves through it today. It’s about showing that you care about the wider community and for me today, it’s about drumming up support and awareness of MMD. There are people out there doing special things today!
“I’m doing it to raise awareness about my special friend Richard Burrows. I’ll be in Leeds in a couple of weeks’ time taking place in the inaugural Rob Burrows Leeds Marathon. We are possibly getting closer every year to a cure for this dreadful disease and we have more runners than ever wearing the MMD vest.”
Vassos Alexander, sports presenter
“I’ve booked to go go-karting with the kids at 2pm – will I make it?”
On running in a minion costume:
“This is my third time running as a minion, and I don’t think that there can be a single child between Greenwich and The Mall that hasn’t been high fived by this minion. I love this city: the Londoners come out even when it’s pouring with rain. It’s so much fun! People say New York has the atmosphere – forget it! London has it in spades!”
Richard Whitehead, British para-athlete
“This was my ninth London Marathon and I’m still being inspired by the crowd: they were awesome! It was difficult running on blades today as some of the surfaces were slippery. I slipped down a few times at Canary Wharf but a guy picked me up and kept me going.”
Chris Robshaw, Former English rugby union player
“It’s amazing to be a finisher – it’s surreal. I’m not going to lie, you do go to dark places out there. But the camaraderie is incredible! I want to thank all of the kids on the route who were giving me jellybeans and gels to keep me going. I’ve had more well wishes today than any time I’ve played for England in rugby. I did need to draw on my rugby experience today, but I don’t think I’ll be here again. My legs are shaking, so I think it’s rest and a takeaway for me tonight!”
Ivo Graham, comedian
“That’s a PB for me, definitely. I was aiming for three hours. I think my time is 2:59. What a feeling! I didn’t Vaseline my nipples! A major schoolboy error, but the medical staff helped me and gave me a smear!
“The rain was welcome but added extra jeopardy. I saw my parents at Canary Wharf and they just told me to shove on, which is what parenting is all about. I’m sorry if I’m not being funny in this interview, but you’ve caught me at a very delicate point in my life. I’m delighted to see my brother [Ludo Graham] at the finish doing his first London Marathon. His aim was to beat my first time and it looks like he’s done that.”
Danny Mills, former Leeds United player
“Really good run. PB which I’m very happy with. Conditions were great and I felt really good, which helps. Everyone’s running for great causes and anyone who finishes has achieved something great today. I want to shoutout my son George and his training partner Tom. His words of encouragement pushed me on near the end and got me to my PB. I’m really pleased.”
Kirsty Gallacher, TV personality
“I did my first one four years ago, but I’m never doing one again. Long distance has never really been my cup of tea. It’s a bit brutal and savage. I think I’ve just run it on a broken toe. It was wet out there and hit a few puddles on the way and I went over on my foot and I think I’ve broken my toe. I don’t really want to take my shoe off and look. I’m so proud of myself. I’ve done it all for Royal Marsden. Today was a beautiful day!”
Charlie Hodgson, former England ruby union player
“This was my first and last marathon I think. It was tough going and I did have calf problems, but it’s been on my radar for a long time to do. It was an easy decision for me to run for Muscular Dystrophy charity. The pain I felt today is insignificant to the pain that MD sufferers experience.
“The crowd were great, it made a huge difference having my name on my running vest. Everyone was cheering my name!”
Louise Minchin, TV personality, who ran with her daughter Mia
“The London Marathon is really hard, but it was an incredible experience. I ran every step of the way with my daughter. It’s her first marathon, and I’m very happy we ran every step together. There were some tears, but we got through it together. Running for Move, who help people get back into exercise after cancer. Thank you to everybody who sponsored.”
Mia said: “I really don’t think I would’ve finished if I hadn’t been running with mum!”
Natalie Cassidy, Eastenders actress
“It was a really great day. Lots of hard work though. At mile 19 or 20 I really had to dig deep. Pleased that I did it. The most I did in training was 16 miles, but I did as much as I could in managing my schedule round the kids. It was quite difficult because we don’t get our schedule until Thursday evening for the following week, but you’ve just got to get on and do it!’
On Babs’ Army:
“We’re all in a WhatsApp group and it’s very supportive, but very emotional.”
On asked what she’d say to Barbara Windsor:
“We did it for you! And we are so proud of you!”
Jeremy Joseph, G-A-Y bar and clubs owner
“It’s really weird. I thought the rain would make it very disappointing, but it actually made it better! People came out in force, cheering us on, and they’re just as much heroes as us, the runners. This is an incredible event, and it means so much to me. I’m honoured to be here.
“Being part of London Marathon and the atmosphere over the years has changed me for the better. This year the atmosphere was incredible in Rainbow Row. I know I shouldn’t have done it, but I was desperate to get on stage with Denise van Outen. Five people lifted me up, so that I could get on stage. But then I realised I had to get back on the course and finish the race.
“It’s been a really strong message that London Marathon is totally inclusive and I’m glad to be part of that. London Marathon organisers should get a pat on the back and Hugh should be knighted!”
Chris Newton, celebrity runner
“Really enjoyed it, the weather’s very fair so the conditions were great, the rain helped. My wife and daughter were out on the course, the crowd gave great support. I hope everyone’s hitting the times they want. They’re all running for great causes.”