Expected to be the biggest London Marathon ever, the 39th edition of the race attracted a host of celebrity runners. 

Here’s what they had to say at the end of the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon.

John Ashworth MP, 4:12:34
“I realised it was my personal best, so I’m over the moon. This will be my last London Marathon, I’m hanging up my running shoes.

“I’m really chuffed to have raised £5,000 for charity this year. 

“I think rather than running marathons, I might go and climb the Alps.”

Emma Barton, 6:26:35
EastEnders actor supporting Dementia Revolution

“I enjoyed so much of it, but I wish I just didn’t have the knee injury, which I sustained through training. I hadn’t realised it was all about having strong glutes and quads. 

“I enjoyed every single moment, I thought a lot about my Uncle who suffered with Dementia and because of this I knew I couldn’t give up.

“The effort I’ve been putting in today is nothing compared to what my Uncle was going through. This marathon is not about us.”

Jamie Borthwick, 6:26:34
EastEnders actor supporting Dementia Revolution 

“It’s the toughest thing that I have ever done. I had a lot of injuries in the build-up. I could feel my leg going since mile nine – but I knew that I wasn’t going to give up. We were running for a great charity which made it all worth it.

“The crowds were incredible – they pushed us all the way. The weather was also perfect, it was great running weather. 

The crowds were just the best though; one of the main reasons I made it through to the end.”  

Candice Brown, 6:16:16
2016 winner of the Great British Bake Off

“It’s the hardest thing that I’ve ever done. As an ex-PE teacher, I now feel bad for making the kids run cross country. 

“My training was short and often, but nothing could have prepared me for this.

“I’m not cooking for a couple of months, hopefully people will be bringing me cakes.

“My Grandad had Alzheimer’s disease so I know only too well how hard it is to cope. I thought about him a lot and that’s what kept me going to the finish.”

Natalie Cassidy, 05:27:44 
EastEnders actor running for Dementia Revolution

“What an amazing run. I don’t know how I got through the last mile – it felt like I had three miles left.

“I definitely ran the second half of the marathon much faster than the first so I’m really pleased.

“I did what I needed to do. I listened to my body, but we are all one team when we finish.

“I saw my family at 11 miles and 25 miles, and that was everything.

[Does she have the marathon running bug?] “Ask me after a few drinks and a couple of hot baths.”

Chris Evans, 4:48:33
Radio and TV Presenter

“Today was great’ the crowds were massive this year all the way. The weather was perfect, a little bit of wind, a little bit of rain, which was welcomed and I’ve never done more selfies in my life.

“We’ve run it for Children in Need before and now for dementia. The marathon gives you a goal and a great focus. It means you have to lay off the naughty stuff after Christmas.

“Running is a positive addiction.

“This year was easier than last year because of the weather, last year was definitely hell and this year was definitely heaven. I feel great I was looking forward to this one as much as the first one.”

Kirsty Gallacher, 05:32:34

“I’m elated – in a very painful way.

“It’s going to take some time to sink in; it’s been tough, really tough.

“My body was breaking down, I couldn’t run anymore, I had to be tactical as my knee was hurting so I walked for a bit and I ran downhill to catch my time but I am absolutely elated.

“It’s just the toughest thing, mentally the last few miles for everyone was just the kindest and every person was just so kind.

“You need to do it in your life.”

Jeremy Joseph, 4:24:39
Owner of G-A-Y club

“It was tough as I’ve been ill with a chest infection, and have been ill all week. But this is my 10th consecutive marathon, and on Thursday night I knew that I could do it.

“This has been an incredible event for me, I feel like a marathon mum as I’ve been training Scott Mitchell [Barbara Windsor’s husband].

“It’s been an incredible journey as I've been finding out what Barbara has been going through. But more importantly, what Scott has been going through.

“I’m friends with David Williams who introduced me to Scott and I said he could share my training programme. Then we discovered we live a mile apart so have been training together. I’ve actually enjoyed his training more than my own and I can’t imagine what I’ll feel when he crosses the line later today.

“The best feeling is to run as a team.”

Jenni Falconer, 3:58:17

“I wanted to go so much faster, I think I ran a 3:58, my personal best is 3:31.

“It was perfect conditions and there was great camaraderie; it was another amazing experience.”

Chris Finill, 2:59:46 
ever-present runner

“Last year I broke my arm but this year I was determined to run sub-three.

“I felt great but faded a little towards the end.

“Now I’m 60, getting under three hours is just not a given but I think I just did enough.

“No matter how many times I run this race, there’s always something new about it.”

Tanya Franks, 05:41:40
EastEnders actor running for Dementia Revolution

“It was everything and more, I can’t explain the atmosphere I cried 26 times one for each mile.

“My step-dad has Alzheimer’s.”

Paul Konchesky, 3:51:03
Former England Football International

“It was tough, it was my first one, maybe not my last.

“I was really nervous beforehand, I didn’t know what to expect and until you witness it you just don’t understand how amazing the crowd are and how much they get you round.

“At 21 miles in, I hit the wall; I cramped up at 18 but by mile 23 I felt good.

“Looking forward to a couple of drinks and a pizza now that I’ve burnt off 4,000 calories.”

Amelie Mauresmo, 3:22:45
Former world tennis number one

“Every marathon I have run so far, at the finish line, I’ve said I will never do another marathon and I certainly feel like that now.

“I’m pleased to have done London and the crowds were incredible but it was a really tough race for me.

"Oh my god it was painful, it's much harder on the body than playing tennis.

"It was, though, a really nice moment to spend with my family and really good that my son saw me.

"I hope that one day he will take up running.

“I’m happy with my time but disappointed not to break my fastest time.”

Scott Mitchell, 05:41:40
Businessman, husband of Dame Barbara Windsor, running for Dementia Revolution

“I can’t believe it that I finished. Thank you, Barbara, I love you. I’ve trained and run this marathon for you and the 850,000 people living with the condition. You were in my mind the whole time, otherwise, why on earth would I be running this on my 56th birthday?

“I ran it the whole way together with Tanya Franks.

[When asked about Alzheimer’s disease] “It was definitely a conversation that needed to happen, we needed to talk about it, how it affects the families, what happens in the home, and we really desperately need to find a cure.”

Nell McAndrew, 3:15:08
TV Presenter

“I’m feeling alright; at about mile nine I could feel my hamstring going, but I slowed down, was in no rush and would just see how I felt. 

“At mile 18 I felt more settled and got into my stride. The support was incredible – it really carries you on. I ran with a mums running community and the support was amazing.

“I was running for Dementia Revolution [2018 Charity of the Year], one of my grandparents had a type of dementia and the other grandparent had Alzheimer’s, and I normally represent them separately at different events it’s so good that they came together so that I could support both.

“I’m going home to relax now.”

Chris Newton, 2:45:24
Former pro cyclist

“I felt pretty good from the start, enjoyed the downhill and then got into a great stride.

“I felt good up until the 20-mile mark and then I ran out of a little bit of steam after that and I started to ache but that’s fairly normal and I’m happy with my time.”

Eileen Noble, 6:28:07
Oldest female competitor

“I don’t feel too bad now but I must keep moving, it’s getting harder every year as I get older. I started doing it just to keep fit but this is now my 19th marathon and nothing can beat London. 

“I don’t think of it as if I’m the oldest, I just think of it as my own challenge. I will be back next year, because I want to do my 20th marathon in 2020, that’s the plan.”

Keith Senior, 4:31:53
Former Great Britain and England Rugby League International

“This is the sixth marathon I’ve run and I’ve never had hamstring cramp like it.

“I was going well until the halfway mark and then it struck.

“London is such a great event that it drags me back, I’m going to try to do them until I’m 50, which means there’s another seven years of it for me, this is my target.”

Kellie Shirley, 05:08:05
EastEnders actor running for Dementia Revolution

“I’m delighted, I ran the first 13 miles like a demon.

“I feel overwhelmed, it’s such an inspirational day and I’ve loved every minute of it.

“The best thing was that I know we are raising serious hard cash for a charity that is so important.

“This is my third London Marathon and it’s a really tough course, finding time to do the training itself is difficult and I started in October but recognise it’s all worth it today.
“I think we’ve raised over £125,000 for our charity and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone else when they come in today.”

Helen Skelton, 4:15:29
TV Presenter

“I am absolutely thrilled. Steve Cram suggested I ran it, I’m not sure it was by best time but it was near.

“Last time I ran I presented as well, and I was worried about my time, but this time I just enjoyed it.

“This event makes you love people, it makes you feel good about human spirit. A huge thankyou to all the volunteers. I’m buzzing.”

Cel Spellman, 4:13:33 

“It was hard, but amazing. The atmosphere was incredible, better than anything else, it completely carried me through.

“Miles 19-23 were rough, you would struggle if you were on your own and probably give up, but the crowd were amazing.

“The variety of all people running was beautiful and it shows you how everyone can come together.

“I’m going back to work on the radio tonight, I’m on from 4pm until 7pm.

“Got to get the wages in, as I forgot to take this off as holiday.”

Jake Wood, 5:59:19
EastEnders actor supporting Dementia Revolution

“This is a grimace you see on my face, but it’s a very delighted grimace. I’m happy to have finished and I’m happy with the time.

“We’ve raised an incredible amount of money and I feel quite emotional at the moment. We’ve had an amazing amount of support from everyone, right from the start and I’m just so moved by everything.”

Adam Woodyatt, 6:45:18
EastEnders actor supporting Dementia Revolution

“I’m very pleased with that. Last time my mate’s knee went so we had a really long time but this time we felt so much better. 

“I took a photo with Lord Cashman and he was offering his full support. It’s great to know that we all crossed the line and we’ve raised the profile of dementia as people are all talking about it. 

“We’ll certainly think about coming back next year but we’re also talking about doing Amsterdam. I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

Laura Wright, 5:14:12
Sports and operatic singer

[When asked to compare the Virgin Money London Marathon to the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100] “I much prefer running to cycling, but for the last seven miles I was walking and running. 

“It’s my third London Marathon and I absolutely love the atmosphere. I love meeting people, encouraging people and the enthusiasm and energy is amazing; you can’t prepare for it.

“Stopping and reading the stories on peoples vest just makes you want to cry.

“I’m so happy to complete today as I’ve had several injuries over the last six months.

“I’m running for a conservation charity today in Africa, for which I have also cycled across the Zambezi.

“I think my next challenge will be in Africa, but not such a long cycle ride.”