The London Marathon is for everyone. It’s every bit as much a celebration of the bloke in the chicken costume raising money for a charity that’s dear to his heart, as a chance to witness the world’s finest long-distance runners in action (though that is also a big part of the appeal).
If you’re not planning to marvel at this feast of sporting endurance from the comfort of your sofa, then you’ll be missing out on some amazing action. Here’s why.
The costumes are amazing
With the outfits getting more spectacular – and ridiculous – every year, spotting some hugely impractical running attire is part of the fun for spectators. The 2015 edition saw a Tardis, a rhino, a minion and a man in a rather fetching pink ball gown, raising money for Breast Cancer.
While a 26-and-a-bit-mile run is hardly a breeze, this is a lighthearted event for most runners and a chance for them to deliver donations to worthy charities. And speaking of charities.
It’s all for a good cause
Last year’s event raised an incredible £54.1m for charities, and it’s the ninth year in a row that this race has set a new world record for an annual single-day charity fundraising event. Terrific.
You might see someone you know!
With a regular turnout of 36,000 runners and TV coverage which focuses on everyone from world-class athletes to middle-aged men from Chesterfield, there’s a good chance you’ll see someone you recognise.
Sit back, enjoy the action and try to get a quick snap if your GCSE French teacher appears on screen dressed as a pumpkin. It’s the London Marathon – these things happen.
There’s the chance to see some global athletics stars
The London Marathon brings out the big guns in long-distance running, and it’s enthralling to see who edges what always turns out to be an extremely close and changeable race in the capital.
The most recent UK champions in this event were David Weir and Shelly Woods winning the Wheelchair Race, and we can always hope to see the emergence of a new Paula Radcliffe – the Cheshire-born star won the elite race on this course three times.
For those feeling patriotic (and hugely optimistic), London-born Scott Overall is the shortest price of any British athlete, at 200/1 to break the ribbon.
It’s inspiring the next generation of athletes
We’re not for a minute suggesting that you’ll rush out of the house after viewing the Marathon with the steely determination to run 26 miles, but it’s an event which shows that anyone can push themselves to compete, and so many great long-distance runners have a memory of watching the London Marathon and being inspired.
And the same is true of so many more people who enjoy the event and discover a sport which offers the possibilities for building endurance, enjoyment and boosting fitness.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.