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Marathon by numbers
Every year, there are incredible, inspiring, and emotional stories of human triumph as thousands of participants make their way around the 26.2-mile circuit.
Many of us will keep a close eye on the data that helps us improve our performance — but the numbers behind the TCS London Marathon tell a richer story than the finish times alone.
Here are some startling statistics about the TCS London Marathon to inspire you.
Five days to finish
The slowest times for finishing the London Marathon have been measured in days rather than hours.
In 2002, former firefighter Lloyd Scott stumbled over the line, recording a time of five days, eight hours, 29 minutes and 46 seconds. In Scott’s defence, he had swapped his trainers and running shorts for a 1940s deep-sea diver’s suit, complete with lead boots and a heavy metal helmet.
He was greeted at the finish line by elite athlete Paula Radcliffe, who had won the women’s race almost a week earlier. Scott has since taken on the TCS London Marathon course in various heavyweight costumes and raised around £5 million for charity. If anyone epitomises the power of belief in their mission, it’s the inspirational Lloyd Scott.
Six marathon records
Athletes have smashed world records six times on the TCS London Marathon course.
In 2023, Kelvin Kiptum broke the men’s course record, coming in at 2:01:25. Kiptum broke Eliod Kipchoge’s 2019 London Marathon course record, and was just 17 seconds away from beating Kipchoge’s marathon world record, set at the 2022 Berlin Marathon (02:01:09).
British superstar Paula Radcliffe’s timing of 2:15:25 in 2003 remains the women’s course record for the TCS London Marathon.
18 alternative records: If a world record is beyond you, there are plenty of other options for securing your place in the history of the TCS London Marathon.
The Guinness Book of Records is a long-term partner of the event. In 2022, there were 34 official attempts made for a place in the list of record holders, with 18 successes recorded.
Matt Brooks became the fastest man to complete the race dressed as a star, while Kristina Beadle took the honours for completing the fastest marathon dressed as a mythical creature.
This year, London Marathon Events is looking to break the Guinness World Record for ‘The most pledges received for an exercise campaign in one month’ through the TCS Mini London Marathon in schools. With thousands of children signing up to take part last year, their goal is to break the current record of 241,675 people.
42 consecutive marathons: In 2022, Chris Finhill completed his 42nd London Marathon.
The 63-year-old athlete finished in a time of 3:01:18 – only just missing out on adding to his record of 37 sub-three-hour races. Chris has run in every London Marathon since the first event in 1981 — and he’s vowed to be back for many more.
The 2023 TCS London Marathon was the largest marathon ever staged.
On April 23, 90,000 participants were scheduled to take part in the event. Over 48,000 took on the iconic course through the streets of London, with another 40,000 joining the virtual event from all corners of the world. Virtual participants were given a 24-hour window to complete the race using the Official TCS London Marathon app.
7,000 children: The 2022 TCS Mini London Marathon was the biggest children’s race in the event’s history.
The TCS Mini London Marathon is a chance for children from the ages of 4 to 17 to take part in a landmark sporting event. Two courses ranging from 1 mile to 2.6 kilometres are open to young people of all abilities. There is also a virtual TCS Mini London Marathon which opens up the event to children across the UK.
163,000 Belief Boosters submitted
Fitness and preparation will get you to the start of the TCS London Marathon — but belief will get you across the finish line.
At TCS, we live by the philosophy of Building on Belief, and we have incorporated this into the official TCS London Marathon app. The Belief Booster enables supporters to send Belief Boosts to participants, and last year 163,000 messages were submitted in support of 33,104 people. The messages were displayed on the gantry at the finish line, giving participants a final burst of encouragement to reach the end of the course.
A million stories
More than a million people have taken part in the London Marathon.
When the race was first run in 1981, just 7,741 runners crossed the start line in Greenwich Park — and 6,255 made it to the finish. Elite athletes Dick Beardsley and Inge Simonsen came home first, crossing the line hand-in-hand: a moment that defined the spirit of camaraderie that lives on through the TCS London Marathon.
Almost nine million tracker views
The Official TCS London Marathon app is a vital resource for participants and their supporters.
During the 2022 TCS London Marathon, users viewed the tracking screen of the app 8,941,218 times. There were 4,171,308 hits on the on-map tracking page as supporters followed their favourites around the famous London course.