The 2014 Virgin London Marathon, one of six World Marathon Majors, will once again dominate the streets of Inner London when the world-famous race returns on Sunday, April 13.
With almost 40,000 runners entered in this year's race, the entire city of London will come almost to a standstill to enjoy this sporting spectacle, whether at home or somewhere along the 26-mile course.
BBC One and Radio 5 Live will have full coverage of the event, with highlights available via BBC 2.
|London Marathon Schedule|
|8.55 a.m. BST||Shooters Hill Road||Weelchair racers|
|9 a.m. BST||Shooters Hill Road||Paralympic athletes|
|9. 15 a.m. BST||Shooters Hill Road||Elite Women|
|10 a.m. BST||Shooters Hill Road, Charlton Way, St John's Park||Mass start|
The start of the marathon will be in Greenwich, and runners will travel south of the river Thames via Charlton and the Cutty Sark to Tower Bridge and into East-London and the Isle of Dogs.
Via Canary Wharf, the runners will make their way back to Tower Hill and follow the river past many of London's famed landmarks, including the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament.
The finishing line will be in front of the world famous Buckingham Palace, as competitors will cut past St. James' Park on their way to the iconic Royal residence.
For the full route, the event's official website has provided an interactive map, which can be found here.
Info and Preview
With the BBC reporting perfect weather conditions for Sunday (dry and bright but not too warm), all eyes will be on Mo Farah, as the Somali-born English runner will attempt to set a new record on the 26-mile distance.
And as reported by The Mirror's Alex Spink, the local favourite and reigning Olympic 10,000-meter and 5,000-meter gold medalist will have a very special pacemaker to help him in his attempt, as long-distance legend Haile Gebrselassie will travel to the United Kingdom to help the field assembled in their assault on the 2:03:23 mark, set by Wilson Kipsang.
Gebrselassie believes in the local runner, saying he could achieve "something special " despite Farah only running in his first-ever marathon, but added he needed more training for the distance:
(...)But when it comes to the marathon he needs more training and more time.
You have to learn about the distance. You have to study it. It takes everything from you.
All athletes want to win but if he runs well in fourth or fifth it should be seen as a success.
The two-time Olympic champion also highlighted the importance of a pacemaker, and the reason he travelled to London:
I’m sure everyone is surprised that I am here as a pacemaker. But I just didn’t want to miss a chance to run next to these athletes.
There is no question this is the best field we’ve ever seen and while it is not easy to break the world record here, I know what kind of pace is needed.
I broke many records and all 27 were with pacemakers. A pacemaker can make a record or destroy a record.
Current record-holder Kipsang will also be running on Sunday, and the Kenyan runner will be one of the favourites for the win in the men's category, along with last year's winner Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia.
Kenya's Priscah Jeptoo will be defending her title in the women's division, with compatriot Edna Kiplagat and Ethiopia's Tiki Gelana and Tirunesh Dibaba as the top contenders, with all four women having posted times under 2:20:00 in the past.
Of course, the 34th edition of the London Marathon will once again be about more than just the competitive aspect, with thousands of fun runners and jogging enthusiasts participating in an event they and everybody else has been looking forward to for months.
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