Brasher hails the greatest ever London Marathon
Event director Hugh Brasher hailed the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon as â€œthe greatest everâ€ 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 womenâ€™s title, and Britainâ€™s David Weir, whose thrilling wheelchair win made him the most successful athlete in the eventâ€™s 37-year history.
A course record fell in the womenâ€™s wheelchair race to Manuela SchÃ¤r while three were set in the Virgin Money Giving Mini London Marathon.
Meanwhile, thousands of equally stirring stories were unfolding â€“ 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.
â€œIt really was an amazing day all round,â€ said Brasher. â€œI absolutely believe that of the 37 events since the race started, this was the greatest ever.
â€œFrom 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.
â€œDavidâ€™s story was incredible and Maryâ€™s performance in the womenâ€™s race was historic.
â€œAltogether, it was a truly stunning day. I couldnâ€™t be more proud of what the Marathon team did, their attention to detail, or of how all the runners performed.â€
With almost 40,000 people in the field yesterday, Brasher added that he is â€œabsolutely certainâ€ the event will again break the Guinness World Record it has set for the last 10 years for one-day charity fundraising.
â€œSome Â£59.4 million was raised last year so I am sure we will go over Â£60 million this time,â€ he said. â€œThat will take the total raised to more than Â£890 million since my father (Chris) and John Disley founded the race.
â€œWhat everyone could see yesterday was the togetherness that comes from marathon running,â€ he added. â€œItâ€™s about everyday people lining up on the start line with the gods of the sport â€“ all in the spirit of running and togetherness.
â€œIt epitomised what the London Marathon is all about â€“ charity, giving and togetherness.â€