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  • 14 April 2014 00:00
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Record crowds attend 2014 London Marathon

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Record crowds of over 750,000 lined the capital’s streets for the 2014 Virgin Money London Marathon to support runners that competed in world famous event.

The men’s elite race was won by Kenyan Wilson Kipsang in a course record of 2:04:29 while victory in the women’s elite race went to another Kenyan in the form of Edna Kiplagat as she clocked 2:20:21.

In the women’s elite wheelchair race was won by dominant American Tatyana McFadden in a course record of 1:45:12 while first place in men’s elite wheelchair race went to Swiss star Marcel Hug in 1:32:41.

There was disappointment in the elite races for Britain as double Olympic champion Mo Farah finished in eighth place in his marathon debut in 2:08:21 to miss out on the British record while Paralympic icon Dave Weir finished narrowly second to Hug in the men’s elite wheelchair race meaning he was denied in his bid to secure a record seventh title.

Elsewhere in the IPC Athletics Marathon World Cup, Moroccan world champion El Amin Chentouf defended his men’s T11-13 race title in 2:25:07, Spain’s Maria del Carmen Paredes Rodriguez smashed the world record she set a year ago to retain her women’s T11-13 race crown in 2:59:22 and Britain’s Richard Whitehead won the T42 race in 3:42:04. 

Behind the stars, 36,621 runners took on the 26.2-mile challenge and in doing so helped to raise millions of pounds for charity.

London 2012 Olympic rowing champions Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins set the runners on their way from Greenwich before they passed over three quarters of a million spectators along the route and crossed the famous finish line on The Mall.

Former Team Sky cyclist Chris Newton put in an impressive performance to lead the celebrity runners home in 2:45:10, while ex-England footballer Michael Owen finished an hour later in 3:45:43.

Game of Thrones actress Natalie Dormer was one of the fastest female celebrities in 3:50:57, while Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls achieved his goal of a sub-five-hour marathon when he finished in 4:57:40, beating his previous best by more than 15 minutes.

The fastest of the eight MPs was Conservative Alun Cairns who ran his best time of 3:34:16 to beat Labour’s Dan Jarvis who also set a PB of 3:45:08.

More than 40 Guinness World Records were targeted in the race and 29 were broken, including fastest marathon dressed as a baby by Ali King in 2:51:18, and fastest as a playing card by Lisa Wright in 4:23:57.
Also to new to the event this year was the 2014 Digital Virgin Money London Marathon, in partnership with Paofit, that has seen organisers develop a unique interactive 3D running experience of the iconic London course for treadmill runners all over the world.

Featuring four miles of the course runners start at mile 12, approaching Tower Bridge before heading along the Highway, around to Westferry Road, and finishing at mile 16. 

The idea is for people unable to participate in the over-subscribed event to be involved in it through the digital experience.

"Over the years, nearly two million people have been unable to get a place in the London Marathon through our ballot,” said Virgin Money London Marathon race director Hugh Brasher. 

"Now, with our digital partners Paofit, we are opening the greatest marathon in the world to treadmill runners everywhere.”

Runners can get a taste of what the 2015 Digital Virgin Money London Marathon will offer by downloading the Paofit app for free at www.paofit.com where there is a sample of one mile of the course.

It is currently available only on the iPad but iPhone and Android versions will be launched shortly.

Meanwhile the ballot to enter the 2015 Virgin Money London Marathon opens on Tuesday 22 April 2014.
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