After 889 long days, the London Marathon is back on track

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On Sunday it will be 889 long days since this wonderful celebration of humanity was last held in our great capital city.  (AFP via Getty Images)
On Sunday it will be 889 long days since this wonderful celebration of humanity was last held in our great capital city. (AFP via Getty Images)

One of the founding aims of the London Marathon, established 40 years ago by my father Chris Brasher and John Disley, was “to show the world that, on occasions, humanity can be united”.

This Sunday, these words will resonate more strongly than ever, as tens of thousands take on the Virgin Money London Marathon both on the famous course through London and in the virtual event, anywhere in the world, between 00:00 and 23:59:59 BST.

In the world we have lived in for the past 18 months, this year’s London Marathon will be an extraordinary day, an emotional day and hugely symbolic.

On Sunday it will be 889 long days since this wonderful celebration of humanity was last held in our great capital city.

We have made many changes this year to ensure the event is Covid-safe and can go ahead, but the essence of what makes the London Marathon so special will shine through. Each and every participant — the world’s greatest runners racing for the titles, the championship runners, club and good-for-age runners, the fun runners, the first-timers, the fancy dress runners, the back of the pack and tailwalkers — epitomise the extraordinary spirit of the London Marathon.

Tens of millions will be raised for the charities that so desperately need the funding to help vulnerable members of our society.

The extraordinary support from the crowd will spur on every runner, carrying them on a tide of positivity to the famous finish line in The Mall.

New friendships will be formed both on the course, as participants help each other along the way, and in the crowd as families and friends cheer on their loved ones.

Sunday will be a day that our participants will never forget. And it will be a day we will never forget as, at last, we will be together again and we fulfil another of Chris and John’s founding aims: “To have fun and provide some happiness and a sense of achievement in a troubled world.”

How prophetic those words were 40 years ago for today’s world and how wonderful Sunday will be.

Thank you to everyone who has made it possible.

Hugh Brasher is event director of the Virgin Money London Marathon

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