FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bedford Hails "An Amazing Day"
Race director Dave Bedford described the first Virgin London Marathon as
"an amazing day" at the end of "an amazing week" this morning as he invited
the event's 2010 male and female champions to return in 12 months' time to
defend their titles.
"We've had quite an amazing day and two fantastic races," he said. "We had
a record number of finishers [36,549 by 7pm on Sunday evening], a
significant increase of 35,694 [in 2007].
"We managed to give everyone a medal yesterday but there were a couple of
hundred people who didn't get a goody bag and a t-shirt on the day - we
will be distributing those in the next few days."
Only 435 starters failed to finish on Sunday, despite the surprisingly wet
conditions. But then, as Bedford put it, "You can never plan a barbecue in
"We also had fantastic races, and we've got some great champions," he
added, referring to men's winner Tsegaye Kebede and women's champions
Liliya Shobukhova. "We will, of course, be inviting them both back to run
After a day of records, Bedford picked out the London Marathon's first
Royal finisher, in Princess Beatrice. "I have been told that her mother,
the Duchess of York, was so impressed by her daughter's efforts that she's
declared she's going to run," he said.
"Sir Richard Branson also enjoyed his day - he is now a marathon runner in
his own right, and we also had the first serving Lord Mayor of London to
complete the course," he added, referring to Nick Anstee, the London
"I've had hundreds of messages saying we are the best marathon in the world
by far, and that's what we aim to be.
"Congratulations to our champions and we look forward to seeing everyone
again on 17 April 2011 for the second Virgin London Marathon."