Published on April 22nd, 2018 | by Michelle Roper-Shaw
London Marathon 2018 and the Fastest Pencil
Today sees around 40,000 runners take part in the 38th London Marathon. Elite athletes, amateurs and an array of fancy-dressed runners will be covering the 26.2-mile course.
After a long, bleak winter the sun has finally come out. As a result, today’s London Marathon could be the hottest on record. Temperatures may hit 24°C, beating the previous record of 22.2°C in 1996 and 2007.
A Royal Start
Her Majesty the Queen is the official starter of this year’s race. She will press the starting button at Windsor Castle and this will be streamed on screens at the starting line at Blackheath. It is 110 years since her grandmother Princess Mary started proceedings at the 1908 Olympic Marathon, also at Windsor Castle.
Meanwhile, Prince Harry will be at the course to cheer on the participants. He will make presentations to all the elite winners of the race.
Mo, the Fastest Pencil and Other Potential Record Breakers
After announcing this retirement from running on the track, Sir Mo Farah has his sights set on his first London Marathon win. He previously ran the race in 2014 and finished eighth. This year the “Mo-Bot” is looking to beat the British record of Steve Jones set in 1985 – 2:07:13.
However, Mo is not alone in his chase for record breaking glory. The 2018 London Marathon sees 98 runners competing for 90 world records.
The Fastest Pencil
Not only is Alex Morales running the marathon in a HB pencil costume, he is also attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the fastest marathon dressed as a stationery item (male). His time to beat is 3 hours 45 minutes. He is raising money for Ellie’s Friends, part of Maggie’s Cancer Charity.
The Fastest Toy
Bob Johnson is running his twenty fifth marathon and will be dressed as that favourite toy from our childhood, Mr Potato Head. The current world record for running the marathon as a three-dimensional toy is 4 hours 58 minutes. Previously in 2015, Bob broke the record for the fastest marathon dressed as a bird. An ostrich to be precise.
The Fastest Marathon on Stilts
Ten years ago, Michelle Frost at 8 hours 25 minutes set the world record for running (if that is the correct expression) on stilts. Today she attempts to reclaim her record by beating the current record of 6 hours 50 minutes. Michelle works for and is raising money for Motor Neurone disease. If you live in Bedfordshire, you may have seen Michelle training on her stilts in her local parks.
The Fastest Toilet
Giving the runs a totally different meaning is Bob who will be running in a toilet costume. He has an impressive time of 2 hours 57 minutes to beat as he raises money and awareness for the WaterAid charity. Previously the holder of the Fastest Marathon dressed as a Vegetable, Bob now hopes to hold the record for the Fastest Marathon dressed as a Toilet.
For details of all the record attempts, visit the Guinness World Record website here.
How to Follow Friends and Family Running the London Marathon
If you want to track the progress of friends or family taking part in today’s London marathon, here are the best ways:
Whether you are lining the London streets or watching with admiration from your sofa, the official Virgin Money London Marathon Mobile app is available.
Once the race starts you can use the app to search for a runner by their name and race number. The app also shows the race map, drink stations and first aid points. In addition it has a handy list of all the pubs along the route. Race times and splits are calculated every 5 kilometres.
To everyone taking part, the very best of luck.