FILE PHOTO: Athletics – Virgin Money London Marathon – London – 26/4/15 A fun runner during the Virgin Money London Marathon Reuters / Suzanne Plunkett/File Photo
(Reuters) – The total amount raised through the London Marathon will top 1 billion pounds ($1.31 billion) this year, organizers said on Friday.
Thousands of charities sign up runners to collect donations at the race. Last year they raised 63.70 million pounds, taking the cumulative total to 955 million pounds since the first event in 1981.
“This is a phenomenal achievement and part of what makes the London Marathon unique. No other mass participation event comes anywhere near this kind of fundraising,” Hugh Brasher, the race’s event director, said.
Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK are the race’s official charities in 2019.
The men’s event pits world record holder and three-time London marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya against four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah.
In the women’s field, defending champion Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya is set to take on her compatriot and New York City marathon champion Mary Keitany.
($1 = 0.7634 pounds)
Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrew Heavens