06:00 - 10:00
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The London Marathon (currently known through sponsorship as the Virgin Money London Marathon) is a long-distance running event held in London, United Kingdom, part of the World Marathon Majors. The event was first run on 29 March 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since. Since 2010, the race has been sponsored by Virgin Money.
The most recent event was the 2018 London Marathon on 22 April 2018. The date of the next London Marathon is Sunday, 28 April 2019.
The race was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and athlete John Disley. It is organised by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel as Chief Executive. Set over a largely flat course around the River Thames, the race begins at three separate points around Blackheath and finishes in The Mall alongside St James’s Park. Since the first marathon, the course has undergone very few route changes. In 1982, the finishing post was moved from Constitution Hill to Westminster Bridge due to construction works. It remained there for twelve years before moving to its present location at The Mall.
In addition to being one of the top six international marathons run over the distance of 26 mi 385 yd (42.195 km), the IAAF standard for the marathon established in 1921 and originally used for the 1908 London Olympics, the London Marathon is also a large, celebratory sporting festival, third in England only to the Great North Run in Newcastle upon Tyne and Great Manchester Run in Manchester in terms of the number of participants. The event has raised over £450 million for charity since 1981, and holds the Guinness world record as the largest annual fund raising event in the world, with the 2009 participants raising over £47.2 million for charity. In 2007, 78% of all runners raised money. In 2011 the official charity of the London Marathon was Oxfam. In 2014, the official charity was Anthony Nolan, and in 2015, it was Cancer Research UK.