Spirit of The London Marathon Awards
At the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon, millions of people around the world were moved by the sight of Swansea Harrier Matthew Rees helping David Wyeth down The Mall to the Finish Line.
That moment inspired the creation of the Spirit of The London Marathon Awards.
These awards celebrate the unique spirit of the world's greatest marathon and showcase the extraordinary stories of our runners, champions volunteers and supporters.
Wyeth and Rees were named as the first winners of the Spirit of The London Marathon Award and former boxer Michael Watson - who completed the 2003 London Marathon 12 years after suffering severe brain injuries in a world title fight was the third recipient.
View the full list of Spirit of The London Marathon Award recipients below.
Spirit of The London Marathon Award winners
The moving footage of Matt stopping on The Mall to help David finish last year went viral and touched millions round the world. David has worked with medical experts to find out what went so wrong after his meticulous preparations and he has made that research available to all runners.
In September 1991, Michael received life-threatening head injuries during a world title fight with Chris Eubank – a contest that is now one of the most famous in British boxing history. He was in a coma for 40 days and spent six years in a wheelchair but in April 2003 he completed the London Marathon, walking the route in six days and raising money for the Brain & Spine Foundation charity.
The record for most money raised for charity at the London Marathon – indeed at any marathon worldwide – is held by Reverend Steve Chalke MBE. The Londoner raised a jaw-dropping £2,330,159.38 when he completed the 2011 race. Rev Chalke is the leader of the Oasis Charitable Trust and is a prominent social activist.
DJ and poet Charlie formed Run Dem Crew (RDC) in London in 2007 as an alternative to more traditional running clubs. RDC is committed to change and works closely with young people across London providing mentoring and advice along with the opportunity to explore London in a safe, unique, positive and supportive environment.
On 7 July 2005, Jill was on the same carriage as a suicide bomber who blew up an underground train travelling between King’s Cross and Russell Square. Twenty-six people died on that train and a total of 52 people died on the same day of co-ordinated terror attacks on London which became known as 7/7. Jill spent two-and-a-half months in hospital following the attack but recovered well enough to take part in the 2006 London Marathon.
Fauja is the oldest person to have ever finished the London Marathon. He was 93 years old when he completed the 2004 race. Now aged 107, Fauja was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) in the 2015 New Year Honours for services to sport and charity.
After surviving the Rwandan genocide as a child, Claude came to London with his mother. Years later, after finding himself homeless on the streets of the capital, he was introduced to running by The Running Charity. This helped transform his life and in 2015 he ran the London Marathon for the charity.
Chris knows exactly what it takes to overcome adversity. In 1995, he was blown up in Africa clearing landmines for a charity and lost his lower arm and leg. Less than a year after leaving hospital he completed the London Marathon. He has since gone on to run 14 London Marathons, raising thousands of pounds for charity.
The first person in London Marathon history to complete the route in a bionic suit. Claire was paralysed after an accident riding a horse in 2007 and walked the London Marathon route in 2012, taking 16 days to cover the 26.2 miles.
Rhian was part of the Mind Over Marathon team who completed the 2017 London Marathon for Heads Together to raise awareness of mental health. She was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder following a double tragedy in 2012 when her one-year-old son George died from pneumonia and then her husband, overwhelmed by grief, committed suicide a few days later. It left Rhian as a single mother to her two other children. She has set up the charity 2 Wish Upon a Star to help other bereaved families.
71-year-old Roy has volunteered at every London Marathon since the very first event in 1981 through his involvement with the 23rd Camberwell Scouts.
The joint winners of the first London Marathon in 1981 who famously crossed the line hand in hand after neither could break the other runner over the previous 26.2 miles. Dick, from the USA, and Inge, from Norway, showed the true spirit of marathon running and forged a friendship that lasts to this day.
The British Olympian and former 3000m world record holder won the inaugural London Marathon in 1981 in 2:29:57 at the age of 43. She returned the next year to win again in 2:29:43 and became the oldest woman to win the race at 44 years and 195 days which remains a London Marathon record.
The first paralysed man to complete the London Marathon. Kindleysides took more than 36 hours to complete the 2018 event in an exoskeleton suit, raising funds for The Brain Tumour Charity.
David is the most successful athlete in London Marathon history and in 2018 won his eighth elite men’s wheelchair race. David started his career competing in the Mini Marathon and as well as his victories in London, he went on to win six Paralympic gold medals including four at the London 2012 Paralympics. Along with coach Jenny Archer, Weir runs the Weir Archer Academy with the goal to increase participation in disability sport and nurture the next generation of Paralympians.
The winner of six London Marathon titles between 1992 and 2002 and one of the most successful disabled athletes in British history. Tanni, who was born with spina bifida, won 11 Paralympic gold medals and held more than 30 world records during her career.
One of the great trailblazers in the push for gender equality in sport, Kathrine famously challenged the all-male bastion of distance running by becoming the first woman to enter, officially race and complete the Boston Marathon in 1967. She defied a race official who tried to forcibly remove her from the course and completed the race. She ran wearing the number 261 and that has since become a symbol of women’s equality and her own fundraising organisation, 261 Fearless. In 2018, on the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in the UK, Switzer completed the Virgin Money London Marathon for the first time, aged 71, wearing her famous 261 number.
Met Police officer Charlie was off duty and enjoying a night out with friends when terrorists struck on London Bridge on June 3 2017. He spotted two police officers being attacked and in trying to stop the terrorists, Charlie was stabbed five times and rushed to King’s College Hospital in a critical condition. He then underwent an emergency three-hour operation to have his spleen removed. He ran the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon just eight months after the attack, raising money for the hospital that saved his life.
Ran the 400m at the 2012 London Olympics for Somalia to show her country that women could compete in sport. This was not received well in her home country and she had to flee to the UK to seek asylum. When she arrived in the UK she struggled to find somewhere to live and was helped by the Running Charity. She completed the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon to raise money for the charity.
Ten runners representing the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust took part in the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon, 25 years to the day after Stephen was murdered in a racially motivated attack. The runners raised money for the Trust which gives young people the opportunity and support to flourish in a society that treats them with fairness and respect.
Eighteen firefighters who were among the first to arrive on the scene of the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017 ran the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon to raise money for those directly affected by the fire. Members from Red Watch at North Kensington Fire Station and Red Watch at Paddington Fire Station completed the marathon side-by-side with the Paddington crew running in full breathing apparatus.
Paula created history on the streets of London in 2003 when she set a new world record of 2 hours 15 minutes and 25 seconds – a record that has remained untouchable to this day. Paula won the London Marathon on three occasions (2002, 2003, 2005) as well as the New York City Marathon four times (2004, 2007, 2008, 2009), the Chicago Marathon once (2002) and the World Championships marathon once (2005). She now commentates on the Virgin Money London Marathon for BBC Sport.
Scott Mitchell inspired several members of the EastEnders cast to run the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon and helped to raise a record £4 million for Dementia research. Scott’s wife, long-time EastEnders actor and national treasure, Dame Barbara Windsor, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014 and has been living with dementia for five years.
He was the face of the Charity of the Year ‘Dementia Revolution’ campaign created by the Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK to raise awareness of and fund research to fight the cruel disease, both in support of Barbara and everybody affected by dementia.
James Ingham, the former Daily Star Sunday Showbiz Editor, has run 10 consecutive London Marathons and has raised more than £358,000 for various charities in that time. In 2013, James corralled his celebrity contacts to host his very first Jog On To Cancer event to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
Jane Smith had always wanted to run the London Marathon and was training to take part in 2018. A diagnosis of breast cancer and the resulting mastectomy and reconstructive surgery meant that Jane was unable to run.
She signed up to take part for Macmillan Cancer Support in 2019 and went on to complete the Virgin Money London Marathon with two friends as her support walkers in 2019. This was just 11 weeks after having a total hip replacement.
Helen Williams has cerebral palsy in all four limbs and a learning disability. Previously a para track athlete, she has found over the years that running, Pilates and yoga help her to stay focused and flexible. She first ran the Virgin Money London Marathon in 2017 after winning a place in the ballot.
It was her first marathon and Helen, with her support runner, finished in 6 hours and 49 minutes. Helen went on to run the 2018 TCS New York City Marathon with her support runner but, following a fall the day before the race which meant she required hospital treatment, she was disappointed to miss out on improving her PB.
Helen returned to the Virgin Money London Marathon in 2019 and improved her PB by a massive 27 minutes, finishing in 6 hours and 22 minutes. Helen is a member of Les Croupiers Running Club. She has run several half marathons, 10Ks and other distances.
As a child, Dave Heeley was diagnosed with an eye complaint called Retinitis Pigmentosa. Over the years, he gradually lost his sight. Now he is legally blind and uses a guide dog.
In 2002, ‘Blind Dave’ as he calls himself, ran his first marathon in London. Crossing the Finish Line was a profound moment for Dave and he has run 16 London Marathons to date.
He has also set himself other extraordinary physical challenges including cliff jumping in Corfu, the Marathon des Sables over six days in the Sahara and Comrades Marathon in 2019.
British Transport police officer PC Leon McLeod was one of the first on the scene at the London Bridge terror attacks that killed eight people on 3 June 2017, where he chased the attackers before treating the wounded.
In 2018 he was awarded the Queen’s Gallantry medal for his courageand bravery. However, the father of one was left struggling with anxiety and post- traumatic stress disorder.
In 2019 PC McLeod ran the Virgin Money London Marathon for PTSD999, a charity that supports emergency services personnel who are faced with traumatic events, and raised more than £9,000.
The Ever Presents are 10 runners who have participated in every London Marathon since the first edition in 1981. They are Ken Jones, Jeffrey Aston, Roger Low, Terry Macey, Malcolm Speake, Bill O’Connor, David Walker, Michael Peace, Charles Cousens and Chris Finill.