The 39th annual London Marathon takes place in the capital this Sunday, with thousands of runners out to smash personal bests, and some even targeting world records.
No elite athlete has has ever completed the race faster than defending champion and world record holder Eliud Kipchoge, who set the men’s course record of 2:03:05 when winning the 2016 renewal.
The women’s course record is still held by British legend Paula Radcliffe, whose 2:15:25 from 2003 also stands as the world record. However, Mary Keitany’s 2:17:01 from 2017 is also recognised as a women-only record, as Radcliffe’s effort employed male pacemakers.
Australia’s Kurt Fearnley holds the men’s wheelchair record, with his 1:28:57 from 2009, while Switzerland’s Manuela Schar has the women’s equivalent with 1:39:57.
The marathon is also renowned for its novelty world record attempts, many of them raising huge sums for charity. 34 official Guinness World Records were broken during the 2018 race, including the fastest marathon on stilts and the fastest marathon dressed as a whoopee cushion.
The slowest ever London Marathon was completed by Lloyd Scott in 2002. Wearing a deep-sea diving suit, he took five days and eight hours to complete the 26.2-mile course.
Were any records broken in 2018?
Many runners struggled in the intense heat of last year's gruelling marathon, with Eliud Kipchoge slowing in the final stages to record a time of two hours, four minutes and 17 seconds, despite being on course for a new world record at the beginning of the race.
The story was a similar one in the women's elite race, with both Keitany and Trish Dibaba hoping to break Radcliffe's 15-year-old world record. Keitany led the race on a world-record pace, but faded towards the end and eventually finished fifth, while Dibaba struggled and failed to finish.
Farah broke the marathon record by a British athlete as he finished third with a time – ratified more than an hour after crossing the finishing line – of two hours, six minutes and 21 seconds, beating Steve Jones' 33-year-old British record.
Elsewhere on the track, six-time Paralympic gold medallist David Weir won the men's wheelchair race for an unprecedented eighth time in one hour, 31 minutes and 15 seconds,