London Marathon – Celebrity Finish Line
The London Marathon is a popular road marathon that has been held each year in London since 1981, usually in April. The race is currently sponsored by Flora, as the Flora London Marathon. The 2009 London Marathon was held on Sunday April 26.
In addition to being one of the top five international marathons run over the traditional distance of 42.195 km (26 miles and 385 yards), the London Marathon is also a large, celebratory sporting festival, second only to the Great North Run in Newcastle, in terms of the number of participants. It is one of the World Marathon Majors, a two-year series of elite marathon racing that also includes the Boston, Chicago, New York and Berlin marathons.
Gordon Ramsay (Celebrity chef and television personality) 4:20:11
“What a wonderful atmosphere! I was a little worried at the beginning because it was warm but when the showers came it was a nice relief. The whole 26 miles there were people shouting and cheering, it was so good to hear. My only concern was that Michel Roux would beat me. Having said that, I think I’m much younger than him and I have time on my side.”
James Cracknell (British Olympic rower)
“I had a good race. It was a strong first half of the race for me. About six miles to go I felt I was slowing, so kicked to try and maintain my speed. In the end it just got harder and harder and I was struggling to make the finish.”
Tony Audenshaw (British actor who is best known for his role as Bob Hope in ITV 1’s soap, Emmerdale)
“In one way I was disappointed that I didn’t break three hours – but what’s a second or so between friends. I was running as tarzan to keep the ‘banana army theme going’ and of course raising lots of money for our charity [leukaemia research]. Yes, I’ll be back next year if the old legs can keep running.”
Michel Roux (World renowned chef)
“I always enjoy the London Marathon. This is my tenth and it always gives me that extra special feeling. I’ve run in Paris and New York, this one I will always come back to.”
Graham Poll (Former English football referee)
“I knew running 26 miles was going to be tough but I didn’t realise it was going to be that tough! One of the things that kept me going was seeing people running for a charity or a loved one, that really spurs you on. Next year, not likely.
Ben Fogle (TV presenter)
“Watching the marathon on TV you tend to get a little complacent, but crossing that line really was a big relief to me. I was running for the RNLI and I know there were lots of other people doing the same. I hope my little bit adds to this great charity and then I’ll know that my run was worthwhile.”
Ronan Keating (Pop Singer)
“This was my first marathon and what a great feeling it was. Everything they told me about the atmosphere and the people on the streets was true. It is true that my training didn’t go any further than a couple of six milers – my wife will vouch for that.
When you run for a reason or a charity it makes it all worth while. I know the charity [Cancer Research UK] I was running for, me running here today will help enormously and I’ll be back.”
Chris Villiers / Nicola Wheeler (Emmerdale Actor / Actress)
Nicola said “I didn’t enjoy running today but it was the first marathon I’ve done. I think next year with a lot more training I’ll be back to enjoy it more, as this time it was about getting through it.”
Chris said “I knew I could do 20 miles in about four hours and it was a great help running with Nicola as she carried me through the other six. In fact, working together all the way along helped us both through the difficult parts.”
Chris Chittell (Emmerdale Actor)
“It doesn’t get any easier does it. The thought of bringing more awareness to Leukaemia Research brings me back time and again. As for a good time for the run, I honestly can’t get the miles under my belt I would like, so I’m just happy to get round and enjoy myself.
“The atmosphere from the start all the way through to the end was absolutely fabulous. Hopefully we will get more money for our village and doing this marathon was such an enjoyable event for us all.”
Amanda Holden (TV Actress)
“I enjoyed every second but when I got to 22 miles I found it really hard work. The crowd was amazing, shouting and banging and it really helped to keep me going. This is my first marathon but it won’t be my last. I’m absolutely knackered but I’m glad to do something for the Born Free Foundation.”
Steve Hartley (TV Actor)
“That’s the hardest marathon I’ve done yet but I got my best time. I really pushed it out to stay on the pace and I’m really proud of myself.”
Gary Webster (TV actor)
“It was hard work but I’m glad to have got round and hopefully raise some awareness. My time was longer than last year and I really struggled. The crowd were great even in the rain and it’s been another wonderful experience.”