Brasher hails the greatest ever London Marathon
Event director Hugh Brasher hailed the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon as “the greatest ever” in the history of the race this morning as he reflected on a day that smashed records across the board and saw more people than ever before make the 26-mile journey from Greenwich to Westminster.
Among the record 39,487 finishers on Sunday was Mary Keitany, who set two new world best marks as she ran a stunning solo race to win her third London Marathon women’s title, and Britain’s David Weir, whose thrilling wheelchair win made him the most successful athlete in the event’s 37-year history.
A course record fell in the women’s wheelchair race to Manuela Schär while three were set in the Virgin Money Giving Mini London Marathon.
Meanwhile, thousands of equally stirring stories were unfolding – none more unexpected than Josh Griffiths, the unknown Swansea Harrier who emerged from the championship race to become the first British man across the line; none more heart-warming than his clubmate Matthew Rees whose valiant support of the stumbling David Wyeth made social media headlines across the world.
“It really was an amazing day all round,” said Brasher. “I absolutely believe that of the 37 events since the race started, this was the greatest ever.
“From the performances of the elite athletes, like Mary and David, to our biggest field, from the stories of runners helping people across the line to our first British man, the winner of the Jim Peters Trophy, who travelled to the race by train.
“David’s story was incredible and Mary’s performance in the women’s race was historic.
“Altogether, it was a truly stunning day. I couldn’t be more proud of what the Marathon team did, their attention to detail, or of how all the runners performed.”
With almost 40,000 people in the field yesterday, Brasher added that he is “absolutely certain” the event will again break the Guinness World Record it has set for the last 10 years for one-day charity fundraising.
“Some £59.4 million was raised last year so I am sure we will go over £60 million this time,” he said. “That will take the total raised to more than £890 million since my father (Chris) and John Disley founded the race.
“What everyone could see yesterday was the togetherness that comes from marathon running,” he added. “It’s about everyday people lining up on the start line with the gods of the sport – all in the spirit of running and togetherness.
“It epitomised what the London Marathon is all about – charity, giving and togetherness.”