London Marathon 2023: Prize money, is Eilish McColgan running, start time, race favourites, route, history, and how to watch

Jill Scott MBE former English professional footballer interacts with runners at the Lucozade Gel Station during the 2022 TCS London Marathon.Jill Scott MBE former English professional footballer interacts with runners at the Lucozade Gel Station during the 2022 TCS London Marathon.
Jill Scott MBE former English professional footballer interacts with runners at the Lucozade Gel Station during the 2022 TCS London Marathon.
The streets of the Capital will be filled with runners this weekend as the London Marathon returns to its usual spring Sunday.

This year’s race will be the 43rd running of event, which has been moved to the autumn for the last three years due to the global pandemic.

Around 40,000 amateur runners will take part, raising millions of pounds for charity, while some of the world’s finest athletes will compete for the elite titles.

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More than 410,000 prospective competitors entered the ballot to run, making it one of the most over-subscribed mass participation events in the world.

Here’s everything you need to know about the 2023 edition, taking place on Sunday, April 23.

Can I watch the London Marathon on television?

The BBC will broadcast live uninterrupted coverage of the whole race, starting on BBC One, the BBC iPlayer and online at 8.30am.

Presenter Gabby Logan will be joined by special guests and celebrities throughout the day, with commentary provided by Steve Cram, Andrew Cotter, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and Paula Radcliffe.

What is the course for the London Marathon?

The 42.195 kilometre course starts in Blackheath and visits the 19th-century clipper Cutty Sark docked in Greenwich, Tower Bridge, Canary Wharf, Tower Hill, the Thames Embankment past Westminster, Birdcage Walk, past St James's Park before turning onto The Mall and finishing in front of Buckingham Palace.

Who are the favourites to win the elite races?

The elite men's race is set to feature four of the fastest five marathon runners in history in Kenenisa Bekele, Kelvin Kiptum, Birhanu Legese and Mosinet Geremew.

Meanwhile Britain’s Mo Farah will be taking part in his last ever London Marathon.

In the elite women's race the favourites include world record holder Brigid Kosgei, 2020 Summer Olympics champion Peres Jepchirchir and 2022 winner Yalemzerf Yehualaw.

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In the wheelchair races, defending champions Marcel Hug and Catherine Debrunner are both tipped to triumph again.

Is Eilish McColgan running?

Scot Eilish McColgan, the daughter of 1996 London Marathon winner Liz McColgan, was expected to make her debut following a gold medal at the the 10,000 metres at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

But she has now pulled out due to a knee injury, explaining: “Trust me, I've tried but it's just got to the point where it's not going to be feasible to run. It's nothing serious but I don't want to take any unnecessary risks because I don't want to put my long-term career in danger. There's been a few factors - a bad storm - over the past few weeks and this knee thing is just the last crack in the armour. I have had a few disagreements with London Marathon over a few contractual things. All of that, the stress, everything - my body has said 'you've had enough now' and it has all come to a halt. It's frustrating because I can almost see the start line but there is always going to be another London Marathon."

What is the prize money?

There is a total of $313,000 up for grabs, with the men's and women's winners getting $55,000 each and cash prizes for the top 10 finishers.

In the wheelchair races the prizes for both the men’s and women’s race have increased by $10,000 this year – from from $35,000 to $45,000.

What do amateur runners get for finishing the course?

Everybody crossing the line will receive a finisher's medal, aNew Balance finisher's T-shirt, some drinks and a snack to aid their recovery.

What is the history of the London Marathon?

The London Marathon was founded by athletes Chris Brasher and John Disley in 1981 and is the second largest annual road race in the UK, after the Great North Run in Newcastle. Hugh Brasher, the son of founder Chris, is the current Race Director.

Elite races were added in 2006, becoming part of the World Marathon Majors which includes six of the world's top level marathon races. Several marathon records have been broken in London, with Khalid Khannouchi breaking the men's world record in 2002, while Grete Waitz (1983), Ingrid Kristiansen (1985), Paula Radcliffe (2002, 2003, 2005) and Mary Jepkosgei Keitany (2017) have all posted world record times in the race.

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