London Marathon 2024: Celebrities and politicians run in this year's record race

The highest ever number of runners took part in today's London Marathon, as Alex Iszatt reports

A record number of people have run in the London Marathon, including celebrities, politicians and people in costume.

More than 50,000 people ran the 26.2-mile course through the capital on what was a dry and bright day, which saw highs of 12C.

Runners of all ages completed the route for charity, with a number breaking records in costume.

Lee Baynton, 39, from Essex, clocked the fastest ever marathon in an inflatable costume while raising money for a local hospice.

Warren Parish, 41, from Cannock, beat the Guinness World Record for fastest marathon dressed as a cheerleader.

Actress Ruth Wilson after finishing the London Marathon Credit: John Walton/PA

Famous faces taking part included comedian and TV presenter Romesh Ranganathan, who was running for suicide prevention charity Campaign Against Living Miserably, and actress Ruth Wilson.

Comedian Joel Dommett ran in the Piranha costume first worn by this year’s Masked Singer winner, McFly’s Danny Jones.

Joel Dommett after finishing the marathon Credit: John Walton/PA

Jones’s bandmate Harry Judd also took part this year.

Speaking to the BBC while running, Judd said: “The atmosphere is amazing.

Harry Judd after finishing the London Marathon Credit: John Walton/PA

“The crowds are out in their thousands, and loads of amazing runners have charities donned on their T-shirts.”

“Hardest Geezer” Russ Cook, who finished running the entire length of Africa on 7 April, ran in support of the Running Charity.

EastEnders actors Jamie Borthwick and Emma Barton ran in character as part of a brain tumour storyline.

Russ Cook with Chris Evans after finishing the London Marathon Credit: PA Images

Last year the BBC One soap said goodbye to Lola Pearce-Brown, played by Danielle Harold, following her diagnosis with a glioblastoma multiforme.

Borthwick, 29, who plays Lola’s husband Jay Brown, and Barton, 46, who portrays Honey Mitchell, ran the marathon in honour of Lola.

Among the runners were 20 MPs and peers, the most in the event’s history, including Chancellor Jeremy Hunt. Credit: PA Images

Also among the runners were 20 MPs and peers, the most in the event’s history, including Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, and former health secretary Matt Hancock.

In the elite races, Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir, from Kenya, beat the women’s-only world record to win in two hours, 16 minutes and 16 seconds.

The men’s race was won by fellow Kenyan Alexander Munyao in two hours and four minutes, ahead of 41-year-old track great Kenenisa Bekele.

Switzerland’s Marcel Hug won the men’s wheelchair race for the fourth year in a row, with a time of one hour, 28 minutes and 38 seconds, while Catherine Debrunner, also Swiss, won the women’s wheelchair race with a time of one hour, 38 minutes and 52 seconds.

Third place David Weir congratulates Marcel Hug on winning the men’s wheelchair race during the TCS London Marathon Credit: John Walton/PA

This year’s race is the first time that wheelchair and non-disabled athletes have received the same prize money for a marathon.

All four winners of the elite races will receive £44,000, with the runner-up receiving £24,000 and third place £18,000.

Britain’s David Weir, who came in third place, previously said he had not expected the change to happen in his lifetime.

Event director Hugh Brasher said the event was “more inclusive than before”, with support for more than 200 disabled participants as well as a faith space and a quiet space for neurodivergent participants in the finish area.

The masses crossing Tower Bridge during the London Marathon Credit: Aaron Chown/PA

There were female urinals, sanitary products available for anyone who needed them, and a family support area which included a private breastfeeding area.

There were 30 seconds of applause before the race in memory of last year’s elite men’s race winner Kelvin Kiptum, who died in a car accident in February at the age of 24.

Lee Baynton after finishing the TCS London Marathon dressed in an inflatable costume Credit: Samuel Montgomery/PA

He set a new London Marathon record of two hours, one minute and 25 seconds last year with his third win, and set a new world record of two hours and 35 seconds in Chicago in October.

The 2023 marathon, the world’s biggest annual one-day fundraising event, raised £63 million for thousands of charities.

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