On 24 April this year, approximately 38,000 people will be standing at the start line of the Virgin Money London Marathon. From elite athletes, expected to finish the 26.2 mile race in around 2 hours, to the Save the Rhino team, who run the course wearing giant costumes, to the thousands of ballot place winners; the 36th London Marathon will be a day to remember.
Today we sat in the first 2016 Virgin Money London Marathon press conference with Race Director, Hugh Brasher, who introduces us to the main theme of this year; the fact that at some point on Sunday, the one millionth London Marathon runner will cross the finish line. Although many will be waiting with baited breath to find out who exactly is the one millionth runner, this is about every single one of those one million runners. As Hugh put it;
We’re talking about the million reasons people run, not just the one millionth finisher
Hear Hugh talk more about #oneinamillion
And of course the London Marathon isn’t just the runners. Hugh says the London Marathon is “a huge street party, at which 38,000 people happen to be running 26.2 miles“. He also says that every year, they tweak the race to allow more and more runners and also to increase accessibility.
This accessibility is reflected through various statistics, including the fact that this year 42% of applicants were women, up from 5% when the event began. Hugh also points out that 55% of this year’s #LondonMarathon applicants had never run a marathon before.