Record numbers are expected to start the 2016 Virgin Money London Marathon today after nearly 40,000 registered for the race over the last four days.
When registration desks at the London Marathon Expo at ExCeL London closed at 17:00 today, a total of 39,698 accepted applicants had picked up their running numbers and Ipico Sports Timing tag.
Around 39,300 are predicted to start the race this year, smashing last year’s record field of 38,020, meaning the 36th London Marathon is sure to mark a major milestone in the history of the event when its one millionth finisher crosses the Finish Line in The Mall some time tomorrow afternoon.
Every person who completes the 26.2-mile journey from Greenwich to Westminster tomorrow will be celebrated as one of the Marathon’s #oneinamillion finishers as they pass beneath the famous gantry with their left index finger raised.
Just a few hours earlier, the London Marathon will take its first ever step into outer space when British astronaut Tim Peake sets the runners on their way from Blackheath before he begins his own marathon mission, running the Digital Virgin Money London Marathon on a treadmill on board the International Space Station some 400km above the Earth.
Peake’s pre-recorded start message will end with a 10-second countdown to 10:00 when the capital’s annual festival of running gets underway as the elite men’s field plus thousands of jogging bodies set off to follow race co-founder John Disley’s famous course as it winds its way alongside the River Thames.