The world’s greatest long-distance runners will be joined by thousands of charity fundraisers to compete in the 2014 Virgin Money London Marathon on April 13, live on BBC One.
One of the world’s most famous, colourful and popular marathon events, the 2014 edition is likely to be the most exciting in its recent history with many of the sport’s biggest names in action on the streets of the capital.
After completing half of the course last year in preparation for his first full tilt at the race in 2014, Mo Farah will be aiming to contend for victory in his first London Marathon.
Britain’s Olympic and world champion in both the double 5,000m and 10,000m is guaranteed a hero’s welcome and will be cheered on by the masses as he tries to beat a top class field of international stars, including defending champion Tsegaye Kebede.
Farah also faces tough competition against a star-studded field which includes Olympic champion Stephen Kiprotich, marathon world record holder Wilson Kipsang and the London course record holder Emmanuel Mutai of Kenya.
Having competed in a half marathon earlier this month in New York, where he finished second despite suffering for his efforts as he collapsed on the finish line, Farah will be hoping
The London Marathon has the traditional distance of 26 miles and 385 yards and is the only marathon in the world that is run in two hemispheres, both East and West, as the full course crosses the Prime Meridian in Greenwich.
The route sees runners travel past all the usual famous and iconic London landmarks, such as the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, the London Eye and Buckingham Palace.
Last year saw Ethiopian Tsegaye Kebede claim his second London Marathon title with an impressive performance, beating Mutai by less than 30 seconds, while Kenyan Priscah Jeptoo won the women’s race.
The Olympic silver medallist beat compatriot Edna Kiplagat by over a minute to claim her first London Marathon title.
The action also includes the men’s and women’s wheelchair races, with Britain’s David Weir aiming to win his seventh London Marathon.
A rejuvenated Weir will return to the London Marathon hoping to become the greatest wheelchair racer in the event’s history by winning his seventh title on the famous course, while Tatyana McFadden will defend her women’s wheelchair crown after the American’s year of dominance on road and track.
Weir lost out to Australian Kurt Fearnley last year but the six-time Paralympic champion claims to have got his “hunger back” after taking a partial break from racing in 2013 to recharge the batteries following his London 2012 triumphs.
As well the top line-up of international stars, thousands of club and fun runners, as well as celebrities and public figures, will also take to London’s streets, each with their own personal stories and objectives.
Many will be trying to set a new personal best, while others will be running the famous route to raise money for various charities and good causes.
Three of Britain’s London 2012 Olympic medallists have been announced as the official starters of the 2014 London Marathon.
Rowers Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins will push the famous red button at the ‘blue start’ on Shooters Hill to send some 36,000 runners and wheelchair racers on their way, while diver Tom Daley will start the Mini London Marathon, a three-mile race for young athletes aged 11-17.
BBC Sport will broadcast live coverage of the 34th Virgin Money London Marathon live across all its platforms.
Jonathan Edwards presents BBC One’s six hour broadcast from 8.30am, with Steve Cram leading the commentary team alongside Brendan Foster, Rob Walker, Paula Radcliffe and Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson.
The BBC’s team of reporters, including Colin Jackson, Denise Lewis, Phil Jones and Ore Oduba, will be positioned across the course to tell some of those remarkable stories and feats of achievement.
As well as BBC One’s complete live coverage, there will be additional live action behind the Red Button and online via the BBC Sport website, enabling viewers to choose between viewing the men’s and women’s elite races, plus additional coverage featuring the mass runners.
Viewers can interact with BBC Sport’s live coverage by sending in their special messages for those taking part via text, e-mail and Twitter - #BBCMarathon - where a selection of them will scroll across the screen at various times during the live coverage.
There will also be a live text commentary of the event, plus accompanying video streams, online via the BBC Sport website.
A one-hour highlights programme rounding up all of the day’s main events will be shown at 5.30pm in the evening on BBC Two, presented by Helen Skelton.
BBC Radio 5 Live will broadcast extensive coverage of the 2014 London Marathon with John Inverdale presenting the station’s live coverage throughout the morning.
All of the BBC’s London Marathon coverage will be available to watch on the BBC iPlayer for up to seven days after transmission, and the event forms part of a bumper year of athletics on BBC Sport in 2014.
British Eurosport will also screen live coverage of the event from 9.00am on race morning with commentary coming from Martin Gillingham and former European Championship 5,000m medallist Tim Hutchings.
Visit the official London Marathon website for more information about the event.
Sunday 13th April London Marathon 2014 LIVE: 8.30am-2.30pm BBC One 8.50am-4.00pm BBC Red Button LIVE: 9.00am-12.15pm British Eurosport London Marathon Highlights Highlights: 5.30pm-6.30pm BBC Two
| START TIMES
08:55 Elite Women’s Wheelchair Race 09:00 IPC Athletics Marathon World Cup
09:15 Elite Women’s Race 10:00 Elite Men’s Race 10:00 Mass Race