London Marathon record holder Gary Waller dies, aged 72
Politician Gary Waller, who holds the joint record for the most London Marathons run as an MP, has died aged 72.
Waller ran 10 London Marathons as an MP including the very first one in 1981, two years after he was elected to represent the Yorkshire constituency of Brighouse and Spenborough.
Dick Douglas and Alistair Burt are the only other MPs to have run as many London Marathons during their time in office.
Waller – who actually completed 11 London Marathons in total, one when he was not an MP – helped promote the first ever London Marathon in 1981 when he was pictured with fellow MP Matthew Parris and Lesley Watson outside the Houses of Parliament holding a list of all the 7,500 runners taking part.
He was MP for Brighouse and Spenborough from 1979 until 1983 when the seat was abolished after boundary changes. He was then elected MP for Keighley in 1983 serving until he lost his seat in the 1997 General Election.
Waller continued to be active in politics after losing his seat and was still serving on Epping Forest District Council at the time of his death.
In total, 69 serving MPs have run the London Marathon 175 times between them. This year, a record 16 MPs finished the Virgin Money London Marathon.
The record of fastest marathon run by an MP is still held by Parris who ran 2 hours 32 minutes 57 seconds in 1985.
Event Director Hugh Brasher said: “The London Marathon has come a long way since its first running in 1981 and our relationships with MPs and politicians has been something we have been very proud of.
“The Marathon will always be indebted to Gary for showing such support in the early years and for being one of the first MPs to see the enormous good the event could achieve.”