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Ideas / Album / London Marathon
Photos from the Flora London Marathon

Each year about 30,000 runners run the London Marathon. They follow a 26.2 mile course from Greenwich to The Mall (in front of Buckingham Palace).
The event attracts serious marathon runners from around the world, but there are also many people who run for fun and to raise money for charity.

In 2011 this event will take place on Sunday 17 April.

The photos below were taken at the London Marathons in 2003, 2004 and 2006.


The race starts in Greenwich, continues along the South Bank, crosses Tower Bridge, goes around the Docklands and ends up in West London via the Victoria Embankment.

Docklands (near Canary Wharf)

The Tower of London

Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey

The end: on the Mall, in front of Buckingham Palace

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Top athletes compete in the elite ladies and elite men competitions. The fastest contestants complete the course in less than 2 hours 30 minutes.

The elite women start first

The elite men set off 45 minutes later

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There are two wheelchair races (for men and women) over the same 26.2 mile course.

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Behind the elite runners are the veterans. They have run the marathon before and hope to be able to improve on their previous best times. They try to keep warm as they wait for their race to start.

Lining up at the starting post

Time to strip off ...

... and deal with calls of nature!

Runners often have their names on their shirts, so that the spectators will be able to encourage them personally. They may also try to wave to the cameras or use other tactics so that their family and friends can find them in the crowds ...


The road is crowded at the start ...

... but this man is easily spotted

There is a minimum age to enter the marathon, but no maximum age. You're as young as you feel ...

The race is not just for young men ...

... and young women

People of all nationalities take part. Facial expressions change as you watch at different stages of the race ...

At the start ...

... in the middle ...

... and near the end

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As well as the serious runners, many people take part mainly to raise money for charities. You can help their causes by sponsoring them before the event or by donating money to collectors along the route. Some charities organise teams of participants.

Teams are organised by charities ...

... campaign groups ...

... or clubs

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Not only is the London marathon open to people of all nationalities, but it also welcomes entries from members of the animal world ...

Bears ...

... gorillas, rhinos ...


... and camels

This is also an excellent opportunity for animal enthusiasts to spot some less commonly seen species ...

Wombles (from Wimbledon Common) ...

... pink panthers ...

... and dragons

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The runners don't need to worry about getting into trouble during the race. As well as the first aid workers, help may be available from other runners ...

The police

Batman and Robin

The RNLI (who operate Britain's lifeboats)

Knights in shining armour

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Events in April: Ideas/Events/April
Photos of the Red Nose Day fun run: Ideas/Album/RedNoseDay1
Entertainment in London: Life/Entertainment/London
Visitor guide to Greenwich: Travel/Tours/London/Greenwich

Home page: Home

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