Top 10 Virgin London Marathon facts

Virgin London Marathon

From the heartwarming to the ludicrous, the Virgin London Marathon brings out the best in people. Here we give you the lowdown on all the records and fun facts from the world's favourite marathon...

10. Like many a great idea, the London Marathon all started over a few drinks in a pub. Inspired by the New York Marathon, co-founders Chris Brasher and John Disley dreamed up the mass city race in the Dysart Arms near Richmond Park.

9. A total of 817,890 runners have completed the London Marathon since it started. The record number of finishers was set in 2010, when 36,550 people (including Richard Branson) crossed the finish line.

8. World records being attempted in the 2012 Virgin London Marathon include fastest marathon run by a married couple, fastest marathon in a firemans uniform, and fastest marathon by a woman dressed as a vegetable. Good luck all!

7. This year's official London Marathon charity is TeamPB (Prostate Cancer Charity & Breast Cancer Care). The race is the largest annual fundraising event in the world, raising a record 51.8 million in 2011.

6. Before the main race, the Virgin Money Giving Mini Marathon will be held. Look out for future stars in the race - a certain Mo Farah won three times in a row from 1998 to 2000.

5. Emmanuel Mutai of Kenya hold the men's course record of 2:04:40, set last year. Britain's Paula Radcliffe holds the women's record (and the world record) with 2:15:25 set in 2005.

4. A record 170,150 people applied to run this year's Virgin London Marathon. 50,200 have been accepted.

3. The oldest marathon runner is Fauja Singh, age 101, born April 1st 1911. And no, that is not an April Fool's joke.

2. The most common occupation for people running this year's race is teaching, with 2,974 educators hoping to teach the Virgin London Marathon course a lesson. The least common is psychiatry - the 16 psychiatrists running might need a lie down on the couch themselves after the race!

1. There are 1,250 portable toilets and 80 pubs on the course route. Hopefully not too many runners will be tempted by a swift half until after the race...

The very best of luck to all Virgin London Marathon runners - see you at the finish line hopefully!

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