Stephen Mangan, Harry Judd, Chris Evans, Sophie Raworth claim medals after running London Marathon


Celebrities including Green Wing star Stephen Mangan, McFly’s Harry Judd, Chris Evans , Sophie Raworth and a former Miss Ukraine winner have claimed their medals after joining more than 40,000 competitors to complete the gruelling London Marathon.

Cheering crowds lined the streets of the capital today to spur on the mass of runners, some of whom sporting colourful costumes, as they set off for the 26.2-mile run from Blackheath in south-east London to the finish line on The Mall.

Before the mass event got underway this morning, there was a moving rendition of the national anthem in tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II, who died last month.

Following the tribute, Lioness heroes Leah Williamson, Jill Scott and Ellen White – part of England Women’s Euro 2022 winning team – got things under way as official race starters. 

Scott, who later helped out by handing drinks to runners at the 23-mile mark, said: ‘I completed the mini-marathon when I was 14, and I think being here today has all but signed myself up for it… I better get training as I haven’t done anything for two months since retiring.’

Stephen Mangan ran for Marie Curie UK, while McFly drummer Harry Judd ran for the Children’s Trust. 

He said he was pleased with his finishing time of around three hours, 14 minutes but had been left with ‘bleeding nipples and hot blisters on the feet’. 

Judd also told the BBC: ‘Honestly, it does not matter how fast you run, it is just about getting involved. It is a huge challenge with thousands of people running for charity. It is honestly one of the best things I have ever done.’ 

Mark Wright is pictured at the finishing line after taking part in his first London Marathon, which he ran as an ambassador for Flora’s Get Towns Active campaign

Harry Judd posing with his medal at the finishing line

The McFly drummer said he had 'bleeding nipples and hot blisters on the feet'

McFly drummer Harry Judd (pictured) said he has been left with ‘bleeding nipples and hot blisters on the feet’ following the marathon

Reality TV star-turned-presenter Mark Wright raises his fist to the camera as he celebrates completing the London Marathon earlier today

Reality TV star-turned-presenter Mark Wright raises his fist to the camera as he celebrates completing the London Marathon earlier today

Mark Wright poses with his medal

Wright cut a happy figure after passing the finishing line

The Only Way Is Essex’s Mark Wright was also among the 40,000 people who are taking part in the long-distance running event today

Green Wing actor Stephen Mangan smiles with his medal after completing the London Marathon this afternoon

Green Wing actor Stephen Mangan smiles with his medal after completing the London Marathon this afternoon

Journalist Sophie Raworth after completing the 2022 TCS London Marathon this afternoon,, despite earlier pulling up with an apparent injury

Journalist Sophie Raworth after completing the 2022 TCS London Marathon this afternoon,, despite earlier pulling up with an apparent injury

Viktoriia Kiose, Miss Ukraine 2016, pictured with her medal after completing the London Marathon while draped in her national flag

Viktoriia Kiose, Miss Ukraine 2016, pictured with her medal after completing the London Marathon while draped in her national flag

The 18  Guinness World Records achieved at 2022’s London Marathon

1. David Jones: Fastest marathon dressed in pyjamas (male) – 2:47:15 

2. David Henson: Fastest marathon wearing handcuffs (male) – 2:54:57 

3. Sarah Dudgeon: Fastest marathon dressed as a witch (female) – 3:11:52 

4. Gower Tan: Fastest marathon dressed as a scientist (male) – 3:14:16 5. Donato Esposito: Fastest marathon dressed as a hospital patient (male) – 3:19:23 

6. Andrew Roberts: Fastest marathon dressed as a badminton player (male) – 3:23:33 

7. Victoria Carter: Fastest marathon dressed as a vampire (female) – 3:23:48 

8. Jeremie Maillard: Fastest marathon dressed as a mythical creature (male) – 3:26:38 

9. Emanuela Pizzoni: Fastest marathon in a toga (female) – 3:27:18 

10. Belinda Neild: Fastest marathon dressed as a stationery item (female) – 3:38:22 

11. Kristina Beadle: Fastest marathon dressed as a mythical creature (female) – 3:43:41 

12. Matt Brooks: Fastest marathon dressed as a star (male) – 3:44:00 13. Martin Porter: Fastest marathon dressed as a harlequin (male) – 3:51:35 

14. Joan Pons Laplana: Fastest marathon dressed as a glass (male) – 3:58:52 

15. Tristan Clark, Freddie Flanagan, Freddie Wright, John Lavelle, George Peirson, Hugh Williams: Fastest marathon in a six-person costume – 4:25:12 

16. Kellie Clark: Fastest marathon dressed as a candy confectionery item (female) – 4:24:06 

17. Sadie Smith: Fastest marathon dressed as a three dimensional human body part (female) – 4:26:43 

18. Lexi Chambers: Fastest marathon in a non-racing wheelchair (female) – 4:32:11 

Former Premier League footballer Stephen Warnock gave a double thumbs up after he finished the race, which was also completed by reality TV star-turned-presenter Mark Wright, journalist Sophie Raworth, ex-Miss Ukraine winner Viktoriia Kioseformer, former Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron and Paralympian Richard Whitehead, who runs with prosthetic legs. 

Anoosheh Ashoori, 68, who was released from Evin prison in the Iranian capital alongside Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe in April, also ran the marathon and described completing the event as a ‘dream come true’. 

Mr Ashoori, who was jailed for five years in Tehran, said he started preparing for the marathon while imprisoned in what he called ‘the valley of hell’. 

He ran the marathon for Amnesty International UK and also dedicated his run to the anti-government protests in Iran, sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in custody after she was detained by Iranian morality police because her headscarf was allegedly too loose. 

During his run, he told the BBC’s London Marathon programme that it is a ‘dream come true, that is what is happening here’. 

He added: ‘It has been fantastic. I am also dedicating this run to the women’s movement in Iran. I am expressing my excitement and goals to that movement. 

‘I hope that movement is going to win and bring this tyrannical regime down to its knees.’

Today’s event was also the first time that assisted wheelchair users were allowed on the course as part of an effort by organisers to make the event more inclusive. 

It meant that Team Kerr – a running family from Co Down, Northern Ireland, could take part. 

David and Sandra Kerr helped their son Aaron around the course where they were ‘overwhelmed’ by the support they received and the ‘quite amazing’ atmosphere. 

Mr Kerr told the BBC: ‘It has been seven years we have waited to do this. It is just phenomenal. This is all we wanted, just to be a part and in the middle of it and with no special treatment. 

‘We are just alongside everybody else, enjoying a fantastic day out with people who love doing the same thing as us.’

Former heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, who was at Lucozade Sport’s mile 23 marker handing out drinks to the runners, said: ‘It’s been amazing to be a fan for the day. 

‘Supporting the runners has given them that last bit of motivation to get over the finishing line – even though they’re feeling it.’

English actress, singer and Broadway sensation Cynthia Erivo poses with her medal after completing this year's London Marathon

English actress, singer and Broadway sensation Cynthia Erivo poses with her medal after completing this year’s London Marathon

Virgin radio DJ Chris Evans (right) celebrates at the finish of the 2022 London Marathon

Virgin radio DJ Chris Evans (right) celebrates at the finish of the 2022 London Marathon

Broadcaster Sophie Raworth and McFly's Harry Judd run alongside each other as they cross the start line of this year's London Marathon

Broadcaster Sophie Raworth and McFly’s Harry Judd run alongside each other as they cross the start line of this year’s London Marathon

Michelle Keegan (right) with Mark Wright after he completes the 2022 London Marathon in London

The Only Way Is Essex's Mark Wright was also among the 40,000 people who are taking part in the long-distance running event today

The Only Way Is Essex’s Mark Wright was also among the 40,000 people who are taking part in the long-distance running event today 

Green Wing's Stephen Mangan was also spotted starting the race today, which has one of its biggest ever fields

Green Wing’s Stephen Mangan was also spotted starting the race today, which has one of its biggest ever fields

England footballer Jill Scott and boxer Anthony Joshua hand out sports drinks to participants in the London marathon

England footballer Jill Scott and boxer Anthony Joshua hand out sports drinks to participants in the London marathon

Anthony Joshua poses for a picture with a runner raising money for the Bone Cancer Research Trust

Anthony Joshua poses for a picture with a runner raising money for the Bone Cancer Research Trust

One runner holds a sign in protest over the disproportionate violence used against members of the black community after unarmed black man Chris Kaba was shot dead by armed police last month

One runner holds a sign in protest over the disproportionate violence used against members of the black community after unarmed black man Chris Kaba was shot dead by armed police last month

Runners make their way over Tower Bridge as they take on the 26.2-mile course of the London Marathon this morning

Runners make their way over Tower Bridge as they take on the 26.2-mile course of the London Marathon this morning

A man was pictured crossing the finish line holding a dog - although it's unclear whether he ran the whole distance while carrying it

A man was pictured crossing the finish line holding a dog – although it’s unclear whether he ran the whole distance while carrying it

Some runners had to be helped after they crossed the finish line this afternoon, having put in their all to the daunting course in a bid to raise as much money as possible for charity

Some runners had to be helped after they crossed the finish line this afternoon, having put in their all to the daunting course in a bid to raise as much money as possible for charity

One participant, Paula, looked particularly proud of herself to have completed such an impressive run

One participant, Paula, looked particularly proud of herself to have completed such an impressive run

Two runners celebrate as they prepare to cross the finish line on The Mall, in front of Buckingham Palace

Two runners celebrate as they prepare to cross the finish line on The Mall, in front of Buckingham Palace

One runner collapsed on Upper Thames Street earlier this afternoon as the mammoth effort proved too much

One runner collapsed on Upper Thames Street earlier this afternoon as the mammoth effort proved too much

A second runner stopped to check on the man, who appeared to be unable to carry on with the race

A second runner stopped to check on the man, who appeared to be unable to carry on with the race

A second runner is stretchered off the course after becoming overwhelmed with physical exhaustion

A second runner is stretchered off the course after becoming overwhelmed with physical exhaustion

Former Paralympian Richard Whitehead finishes the London Marathon - he has won multiple gold Olympic medals for the 200m sprint

Former Paralympian Richard Whitehead finishes the London Marathon – he has won multiple gold Olympic medals for the 200m sprint

Christmas came early for one runner as he crossed the finish line dressed in festive style

Christmas came early for one runner as he crossed the finish line dressed in festive style

Fancy dress took all sorts of forms during the race, from Buzz Lightyear to an incredibly hot-looking red teddy bear head

Fancy dress took all sorts of forms during the race, from Buzz Lightyear to an incredibly hot-looking red teddy bear head

A runner dressed as a unicorn makes their way through the course at Rotherhithe this morning as part of the 42,000 participants - and breaks a Guinness World Record

A runner dressed as a unicorn makes their way through the course at Rotherhithe this morning as part of the 42,000 participants – and breaks a Guinness World Record

A man dressed as rhino walks to the starting area before the marathon today as he gets set to run the course to raise money for Save The Rhino

A man dressed as rhino walks to the starting area before the marathon today as he gets set to run the course to raise money for Save The Rhino

One participant takes part in a full suit of armour and walks around the course as the sunshine comes out above London

One participant takes part in a full suit of armour and walks around the course as the sunshine comes out above London

Switzerland's Catherine Debrunner (left) and Marcel Hug (right) celebrate winning the women's and men's elite wheelchair races today

Switzerland’s Catherine Debrunner (left) and Marcel Hug (right) celebrate winning the women’s and men’s elite wheelchair races today

Great Britain's Weynay Ghebresilasie (right) and Rose Harvey (left) celebrate being the first Brits home in the Women's and Men's Elite Races at London Marathon 2022

Great Britain’s Weynay Ghebresilasie (right) and Rose Harvey (left) celebrate being the first Brits home in the Women’s and Men’s Elite Races at London Marathon 2022

The iconic Big Ben costume from 2019 makes its comeback at the marathon this year, although with a different runner

The iconic Big Ben costume from 2019 makes its comeback at the marathon this year, although with a different runner

A runner dressed as Shrek takes on the course today as he raises money for Shooting Star Children's Hospices by running the event

A runner dressed as Shrek takes on the course today as he raises money for Shooting Star Children’s Hospices by running the event

Someone in fancy dress runs alongside other participants in the London Marathon today as they rais money for JDRF, a diabetes charity

Someone in fancy dress runs alongside other participants in the London Marathon today as they rais money for JDRF, a diabetes charity

Possibly the most cumbersome costume of the day was seen in this runner, who had an ironing board and clothes line strapped to his back

Possibly the most cumbersome costume of the day was seen in this runner, who had an ironing board and clothes line strapped to his back

Runners arrive in Greenwich Park ahead of the start of the London Marathon today. Fancy dress, such as this man dressed as a sunflower, will be a common sight in the city today

Runners arrive in Greenwich Park ahead of the start of the London Marathon today. Fancy dress, such as this man dressed as a sunflower, will be a common sight in the city today

This person will be running dressed as a Minion in today's event. Around 42,000 people are expected to take part in the race

This person will be running dressed as a Minion in today’s event. Around 42,000 people are expected to take part in the race

(L-R) Second placed Susannah Scaroni of United States, first placed Catherine Debrunner of Switzerland and Third placed Eden Rainbow-Cooper of Great Britain

(L-R) Second placed Susannah Scaroni of United States, first placed Catherine Debrunner of Switzerland and Third placed Eden Rainbow-Cooper of Great Britain

(L-R) Second placed Daniel Romanchuk of United States, first placed Marcel Hug of Switzerland and third place David Weir of Great Britain

(L-R) Second placed Daniel Romanchuk of United States, first placed Marcel Hug of Switzerland and third place David Weir of Great Britain

(L-R) Second placed Joyciline Jepkosgei of Kenya, first placed Yalemzerf Yehualaw of Ethiopia and third placed Alemu Megertu of Ethiopia

(L-R) Second placed Joyciline Jepkosgei of Kenya, first placed Yalemzerf Yehualaw of Ethiopia and third placed Alemu Megertu of Ethiopia

(L-R) Second placed Leul Gebresilase of Ethiopia, first placed Amos Kipruto of Kenya and third placed Bashir Abdi of Belgium

(L-R) Second placed Leul Gebresilase of Ethiopia, first placed Amos Kipruto of Kenya and third placed Bashir Abdi of Belgium

Before the men's elite race and the mass start, there was a moving tribute to Queen Elizabeth II as a brass band played the national anthem

Before the men’s elite race and the mass start, there was a moving tribute to Queen Elizabeth II as a brass band played the national anthem

Kenya's Joyciline Jepkosgei and Japan's Reia Iwade in action at the start of the women's elite race at this morning's London Marathon

Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgei and Japan’s Reia Iwade in action at the start of the women’s elite race at this morning’s London Marathon

The women's elite race was won by Yalemzerf Yehualaw of Ethiopia after she surged clear to win in an impressive time of 2:17:26

The women’s elite race was won by Yalemzerf Yehualaw of Ethiopia after she surged clear to win in an impressive time of 2:17:26

The route will take runners east out of Greenwich Park before turning west and into central London past iconic landmarks in the capital

The route will take runners east out of Greenwich Park before turning west and into central London past iconic landmarks in the capital

A runner dressed as a minion joins dozens of others in crossing the finish line on The Mall

A runner dressed as a minion joins dozens of others in crossing the finish line on The Mall

This runner will take on the 26.2-mile course while dressed as a tree as he runs in support of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity

This runner will take on the 26.2-mile course while dressed as a tree as he runs in support of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity

Former Miss Ukraine and TV host who fled war-torn country celebrates finish

Kostiantyn Bidnenko and Viktoriia Kiose celebrate after finishing the London Marathon

Kostiantyn Bidnenko and Viktoriia Kiose celebrate after finishing the London Marathon

By PA News Agency

A TV host and winner of Miss Ukraine International 2016 and her partner, who fled Russian bombs and found refuge in the UK, has run the London Marathon to raise money for their country.

Viktoriya Kiose, 29, and Kostiantyn Bidnenko, 35, were in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv when Russia invaded and bombs started dropping on their city at about 5am on February 24.

Ms Kiose, who was a TV presenter as well as a beauty pageant winner in Ukraine, said she was ‘numb’ with fear when the invasion started.

She said: ‘I was shocked. It was very scary and we didn’t understand because it was like in the movies.

‘It was awful. It was the worst day in my life.’

Speaking on Thursday, Mr Bidnenko said: ‘Today, we woke up at 6am because we thought war had started here, but it was rain.

‘This morning there was a storm in London and we woke up and thought it was an explosion.’

Mr Bidnenko, who worked in trade marketing, tried to join Ukraine’s military but says he was unable to sign up because he has a rare genetic disease called alkaptonuria, causing him daily joint pain.

They are being hosted under the Homes for Ukraine scheme by former Tower Hamlets councillor Andrew Wood at his Canary Wharf flat in east London.

‘Andrew Wood is the best man on the planet, he hosts us and we live together in his amazing apartment,’ Mr Bidnenko said.

On why they are running the marathon, he added: ‘We wanted to support our country as much as we can and the decision about the London Marathon is we want to participate, it’s one of the biggest events in London.

‘Sport is part of our life so it is one of the best ways we can do something – we can’t play piano but we can run.

‘When we run together we don’t think about the war.’

Mr Bidnenko and Ms Kiose are raising funds for causes including United 24, an initiative launched by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to collect charitable donations in support of the country.

More than £1 billion has been raised for charity since the first London Marathon was held on March 29 1981 and the millionth finisher in the history of the event crossed the line in 2016.

The top runners stormed to victory in quick times, including Kenya’s Amos Kipruto, who won the elite men’s title in 2:04:38 in his debut on the course, and Ethiopia’s 23-year-old Yalemzerf Yehualaw, who clocked 2:17:25 to become the youngest ever female winner. 

Many of those taking part today were doing so for charity, often with moving personal stories behind why they are putting their bodies through the wringer having spent months, and sometimes years, preparing for the big event.

At least 15 Guinness World Records were broken as part of the marathon, including fastest marathon completed while dressed as a vampire and fastest completed while wearing handcuffs.

The wheelchair races saw early success for the Brits as David Weir and Eden Rainbow-Cooper in the men’s and women’s races respectively.

The marathon was also an opportunity for protest for some runners, as one was pictured carrying a sign reading ‘unarmed’ – a reference to police brutality towards the black community following the fatal shooting of Chris Kaba, who was unarmed, by police last month. 

For those who do decide to wear something exotic, they will perhaps be a little relieved to find running conditions slightly cooler than normal for the event. 

Traditionally the race has taken place in April, but for the last couple of years it has been moved back to October due to the Covid pandemic. 

This will be the last time it is held in the autumn, and those taking part will see mainly overcast conditions, with some sunny spells towards the middle of the day and highs of 18C.

However, Britain’s Mo Farah did not get to enjoy the perfect running conditions, as the hugely popular Olympian has been ruled out of the men’s elite race by a hip injury.

Those who make it into the capital will have done so despite a national rail strike which brought the network to a halt yesterday and impacted on services into the capital early this morning.

While wheelchair races and the women’s elite race were underway by 9am, the mass start and men’s elite group were held until 9.40am. 

Before they got underway a brass band played the national anthem in tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, who died at the age of 96 at Balmoral Castle last month.

Even with no Mo Farah, the field for the men’s elite race still included six people who have run under two hours and four minutes. 

And it was won in style by favourite Amos Kipruto, who finished in 2:04:39. 

He was followed by Ehtiopian Leul Gebresilase and Belgian Bashir Abdi. Long-distance running legend  Kenenisa Bekele finished fifth.

In the women’s race favourite Yalemzerf Yehualaw from Ethiopia surged clear to win in an impressive time of 2:17:26. 

She overcame a rough fall partway through the race after she appeared to trip over a speed bump. 

She was followed in second place by last year’s winner Joyciline Jepkosgei, who finished in a time of 2:18:06.

Some supporters along the marathon route held signs of encouragement and blew horns to contribute to the atmosphere.

Some supporters along the marathon route held signs of encouragement and blew horns to contribute to the atmosphere.

Thousands of people have come out to support the runners this year, including at major London landmarks such as Tower Bridge

Thousands of people have come out to support the runners this year, including at major London landmarks such as Tower Bridge

Runners arrive for the London Marathon this morning. They will be among the 42,000 people set to take part in the 26.2-mile race today

Runners arrive for the London Marathon this morning. They will be among the 42,000 people set to take part in the 26.2-mile race today

There will be plenty of smiles on the faces of runners as they power their way through central London during the marathon today

There will be plenty of smiles on the faces of runners as they power their way through central London during the marathon today

A runner smiles for the camera as he makes his way through Greenwich after starting the London Marathon this morning

A runner smiles for the camera as he makes his way through Greenwich after starting the London Marathon this morning

London Marathon participant Simon Phillips will wear a Big Ben costume during the race in aid of Alzheimer's Research UK in memory of his father, Robert, who died with Alzheimer's disease in 2016

London Marathon participant Simon Phillips will wear a Big Ben costume during the race in aid of Alzheimer’s Research UK in memory of his father, Robert, who died with Alzheimer’s disease in 2016

A man helps one of the runners prepare to run today's London Marathon in a rhino costume as they raise money for Save The Rhino

A man helps one of the runners prepare to run today’s London Marathon in a rhino costume as they raise money for Save The Rhino

Lionesses Jill Scott (left), Ellen White (centre) and Leah Williamson (right) pushed the klaxon to officially start the London Marathon this morning

Lionesses Jill Scott (left), Ellen White (centre) and Leah Williamson (right) pushed the klaxon to officially start the London Marathon this morning

One runner dressed in a Union Jack skin suit walks to the starting area ahead of the London Marathon this morning

One runner dressed in a Union Jack skin suit walks to the starting area ahead of the London Marathon this morning

British Olympian Mo Farah had been due to run the elite men's race, but has been forced to pull out of the competition due to a hip injury

British Olympian Mo Farah had been due to run the elite men’s race, but has been forced to pull out of the competition due to a hip injury

Pictured: A finish Area information sign is seen at Horse Guards Parade during the preparations for the 2022 London Marathon

Pictured: A finish Area information sign is seen at Horse Guards Parade during the preparations for the 2022 London Marathon

Around 42,000 runners are set to take part in the event, which is one of the biggest in the capital's calendar. Pictured: Participants walk thought Blackheath before the start of the marathon today

Around 42,000 runners are set to take part in the event, which is one of the biggest in the capital’s calendar. Pictured: Participants walk thought Blackheath before the start of the marathon today

There are set to be highs of 18C this afternoon. Pictured: Runners rest their legs in Blackheath this morning ahead of today's race

There are set to be highs of 18C this afternoon. Pictured: Runners rest their legs in Blackheath this morning ahead of today’s race

Kenya’s Amos Kipruto wins the men’s Marathon while 23-year-old Ethopian Yalemzerf Yehualaw recovers from a late fall to take women’s race

After the fall came the rise. Not many athletes can climb up from a face-plant to win the London Marathon but Yalemzerf Yehualaw is rapidly emerging as a runner who does not conform to the usual standards.

The Ethiopian’s victory across two hours, 17 minutes and 26 seconds on Sunday was staggering, both in her revival from tumbling over a speed bump six miles from the tape, and also in what it heralded, with the 23-year-old becoming the youngest winner of this race in history.

That it was only her second ever marathon, six months after winning her first in Hamburg, would indicate she has a better shot than most in her stated ambition of one day breaking the 2:14.04 world record of Brigid Kosgei.

‘I had a dream to be a professional athlete and to run in these races,’ she said. ‘I am so happy to win on my first time in London. London people were shouting a lot and it inspired me.

‘I am thinking of the longer plan I have that I would like to break the world record.’

‘I hurt my hip and knee,’ she said, before a member of her team confirmed she bumped her head as well. Despite that setback, she reeled the pack in and by the 24th mile it had become a two-woman showdown with the defending champion Joyciline Jepkosgei.

That was when Yehualaw ran a storming mile of four minutes and 43 seconds, the quickest ever recorded in a women’s marathon, and left the Kenyan in her wake. Her time was the third fastest in the 42 years of the race.

The men’s event was won by Amos Kipruto in 2:04.39 after breaking three miles from home. The leading British runner was ninth-placed Waynay Ghebresilasie, who carried the flag for Eritrea at London 2012 before seeking asylum here.

The 28-year-old said: ‘Before the 2012 Olympics my country was not in a good situation, that’s why I stayed in Britain. I was in Sunderland and then moved to Birmingham and I’m in Scotland now.

‘My plan is to run at the World Championships and the Paris Olympics for Great Britain.’ 

While the chance to win is what drives the elite competitors, for many taking part today it is the prospect of finishing that is the biggest thing they’re looking forward to.

Among those taking part is Rob Duncombe, chief pharmacist at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, who is running for charity wearing an ‘absolutely stunning’ 8ft tall oak tree costume.

The 54-year-old, from Chelmsford, Essex, who is running on behalf of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, is hoping to beat the Guinness World Record for the fastest marathon dressed as a tree (male), which stands at four hours, five minutes and six seconds.

Actor Stephen Mangan, who is running for Marie Curie UK, joked that ‘for reasons I’ve yet to fully understand I’m running the London Marathon’ as he urged people to sponsor him to help raise money for ‘an incredible charity’.

TV personality Mark Wright also completed the marathon today, and was joined by his wife Michelle Keegan at the finish line. 

But when broadcaster Sophie Raworth was stopped by the BBC she revealed she had just ‘popped a calf muscle’ and was unsure if she would make it to the end.

She was later pictured crossing the finish line and appeared overcome with emotion that she had made it to the end.

Runners and people wanting to get into the city for the event faced the additional stress of having to navigate the rail strike. 

Union workers walked out of their jobs yesterday as part of a dispute over pay and conditions at rail franchises across the country.

The 24-hour strike officially took place yesterday, but it meant that many early services today were delayed as the network got back up and running. 

Trains run by many operators and travelling any reasonable distance into central London were not set arrive before 9am.

The move left travellers frustrated, with some blasting the unions for penalising the ‘kindest folk, charities and the people they are helping’.

Others branded them ‘vile selfish bullies’ for striking on the eve of one of the biggest events in the capital’s calendar.

Meanwhile, a total of 18 Guinness World Record titles were broken, including the fastest marathon for a male dressed in pyjamas and a female in a toga.

As official Guinness World Records adjudicator Will Munford stood on the finish line to verify each one, it was David Jones who secured the fastest time of all the records as he ran the marathon in two hours, 45 minutes and 15 seconds while wearing pyjamas.

Among the other record breakers was Sarah Dudgeon, who broke the world record for the fastest marathon dressed as a witch (female) in three hours, 11 minutes and 52 seconds.

Donato Esposito snatched the title for the fastest marathon dressed as a hospital patient (male) in three hours, 19 minutes and 23 seconds, and Victoria Carter’s three-hour, 23 minute and 48 second run got her the record for the fastest marathon dressed as a vampire (female).

Mr Munford said seeing the records being broken was ‘truly inspiring’.

He added: ‘The record-breaking that takes place at the TCS London Marathon is truly inspiring to see first hand.

‘To me, nothing embodies the physical and emotional effort required to achieve a Guinness World Record title quite like those who cross the finish line of the marathon having achieved one.

‘Coupled with the runners’ efforts raising money for various charities, often hand-chosen through personal experience, their accomplishment in making the next edition of the book should not be undersold and they are all officially amazing.’

A group of six runners, Tristan Clark, Freddie Flanagan, Freddie Wright, John Lavelle, George Peirson and Hugh Williams, ran the entire route in four hours, 24 minutes and 12 seconds, securing them the world record for the fastest marathon in a six-person costume.

Awards were also won for the fastest marathons dressed as a harlequin (male), glass (male), and candy confectionery item (female).

Lexi Chambers broke the world record for the fastest marathon in a non-racing wheelchair (female).

Rail strikes impact people trying to get to marathon 

Runners trying to get to the start line of the London Marathon on time faced travel chaos as the rail strike ground the overground network to a halt.

Members of four trade unions went on strike for 24 hours on Saturday, causing the worst rail disruption of the year so far, with parts of the country having no services all day. 

Rail passengers were advised only to travel if necessary on Saturday because of the strike by members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT), Aslef, Unite and the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA).

And the disruption continued this morning with trains run by many operators and travelling any reasonable distance into central London will not arriving before 9am.

The move left travellers frustrated, with some blasting the unions for penalising the ‘kindest folk, charities and the people they are helping’.

Others branded them ‘vile selfish bullies’ for striking on the eve of one of the biggest events in the capital’s calendar.

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