Harry thanks London Marathon runners for hitting £1bn fundraising mark

By Laura Elston, Press Association Court Reporter

The Duke of Sussex has thanked runners preparing to take part in the London Marathon, as total fundraising over the years hit £1 billion.

Harry, who is awaiting the birth of his first child, branded the race, which takes place in 10 days’ time, “an extraordinary force for good”.

The duke said in a video message tweeted by Virgin Money London Marathon that the funds had supported hundreds of charities around the world, helping those most in need.

“The London Marathon is an extraordinary force for good,” Harry said.

“It is the biggest one-day fundraising event on the planet and helps hundreds of charities at home and abroad provide vital services to those that need them most.”

Sir Mo Farah poses with Harry after finishing third in the London Marathon in 2018 (Paul Harding/PA)

He added: “This year’s Virgin Money London Marathon will see the total raised for charity surpass a record-breaking £1 billion.

“For every runner that has contributed to this and for those of you taking part this year, thanks a billion.”

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Harry start the London Marathon in 2017 (Luke MacGregor/PA)

Hugh Brasher, event director of the race, said: “The London Marathon has set a world record for fundraising for an annual one-day event every year since 2007, with an incredible £63.7 million raised from the 2018 event.

“That brought the total raised since 1981 to more than £955 million and on Sunday 28 April 2019, in the 39th London Marathon, we will break the £1,000,000,000 mark.”