News and media

Press releases


Nine MPs to run the 2014 Virgin Money London Marathon

31 March 2014

A record nine Members of Parliament will run the 2014 Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 13 April this year, including six frontbenchers from the House of Commons, the most ever in the 33-year history of the event.

This year’s lobby of marathon MPs includes five from the Labour Party, all shadow ministers, plus four Conservatives. All nine will appear in their running kit for a photocall outside the Houses of Parliament next week (details below).

Among them will be Jim Murphy, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for International Development, who was the fastest MP last year when he finished in 3 hours 31 minutes 44 seconds, making him the eighth quickest parliamentarian in London Marathon history.

The Scot, then Shadow Defence Secretary, finished almost two hours ahead of his colleague, Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, who knocked more than 15 minutes from his 2012 time when he crosed the line in 5:14:13.

Balls is back to run his third London Marathon in three years, and this time will be joined by three more colleagues – Dan Jarvis, Shadow Justice Minister, who clocked 3:46:41 last year, plus two debutants, Andy Burnham, Shadow Secretary of State for Health, and Sadiq Khan, Shadow Justice Secretary.

Jarvis is running his second London Marathon as an MP, his fourth in total. He hopes to dip under 3:30 this time and give Murphy a run for his money. The 41-year-old Barnsley Central MP will run with his 69-year-old father, Bernard, a veteran of 68 marathons, and in memory of his wife Caroline who died of bowel cancer in 2010.

Alun Cairns, the member of Vale of Glamorgan, was quickest of the Conservative MPs in 2013, clocking 3:39:41 to beat his 2012 time by more than 20 minutes. He returns to lead the Conservative challenge in 2014, backed by three fellow-Tories, all of whom have completed the course in the last few years.

Based on previous times, Edward Timpson could be challenging Cairns for the honour of being the fastest blue. The Minister for Children and Families broke four hours in 2012 and is the most experienced marathon runner in the 2014 MPs’ line-up with four successful London Marathons behind him.

His Tory colleagues – Graham Evans, MP for Weaver Vale, and Jason McCartney of Colne Valley – have both finished in under five hours in recent years.

MPs running in 2014:

Ed Balls, Labour, Morley & Outwood
Personal best: 5:14:13 (2013)
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
This will be Balls’ third London Marathon. Previous times: 5:31:48 (2012); 5:14:13 (2013)

Andy Burnham, Labour, Leigh
Personal best: Debut
Shadow Health Secretary

Alun Cairns, Conservative, Vale of Glamorgan
Personal best: 3:39:41 (2013)
This will be Cairns’ third London Marathon. Previous times: 4:03:16 (2012); 3:39:41 (2013)

Graham Evans, Conservative, Weaver Vale
Personal best: 4:46:15 (2012)
This will be Evans’ third London Marathon. Previous times: 4:46:15 (2012); 4:49:00 (2013)

Dan Jarvis, Labour, Barnsley Central
Personal best: 3:46:41 (2013)
Shadow Youth Justice and Victims Minister This is his second London Marathon as an MP. Previous times: 3:46:41 (2013)

Sadiq Khan, Labour, Tooting
Personal best: Debut
Shadow Justice Secretary & Shadow Minister for London

Jason McCartney, Conservative, Colne Valley
Personal best: 4:44:26 (2013)
This is his second London Marathon. Previous times: 4:44:26 (2013)

Jim Murphy, Labour, East Renfrewshire
Personal best: 3:31:44 (2013)
Shadow Secretary of State for International Development This is Murphy’s second London Marathon. Previous time: 3:31:44 (2013)

Edward Timpson, Conservative, Crewe & Nantwich
Personal best: 3:55:19 (2012)
Minister for Children and Families This is Timpson’s fifth London Marathon. Previous times: 3:58:36 (2009); 4:26:40 (2010); 6:28:47 (2011); 3:55:19 (2012)

Marathon MPs’ Photocall
When: Tuesday 8 April, 11.30am
Where: College Green, opposite Houses of Parliament, Westminster, London SW1
Contact: Fran Ridler, Press Officer, Virgin Money London Marathon
Tel: 07768 021254