The London Marathon has become an annual, inspiring and colourful fixture in the world’s sporting calendar since the inaugural race on 29 March 1981.
More than a million people have completed the course, over a billion pounds has been raised for charity and there have been countless amazing tales of human achievement.
Inspired by the New York City Marathon, which was established in 1970, Olympic steeplechase medallists Chris Brasher and John Disley were determined that the London Marathon would showcase the very best of the capital. They also declared the event would help people ‘to have fun, and provide some happiness and sense of achievement in a troubled world’.
The event captivated people’s imagination from the off, with more than 22,000 runners applying to take part in the first race. However, the original capacity was capped due to safety reasons, so there were just 7,741 runners who crossed the first-ever Start Line in Greenwich Park. A mere fraction of the 45,000-plus runners that we see in the modern versions of the event.