London marathon: Thousands join record-breaking elite

London Marathon runner in fancy dress Thousands of runners were raising money for charity

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Thousands have joined the world's top long distance runners for a record-breaking 26.2 mile London marathon.

Kenya's Emmanuel Mutai won the men's race in two hours four minutes and 39 seconds - breaking the London record.

Compatriot Mary Keitany won the women's race in in 2:19.17, the fourth fastest women's marathon ever, and Britain's David Weir won the wheelchair race.

Among 36,500 runners was BBC newsreader, Sophie Raworth, who collapsed after 24 miles.

Raworth, who was raising £12,000 for a cancer charity, said she was determined to finish.

"About an hour ago I was lying on this bed in a St John's ambulance bay at mile 24 and I couldn't really think straight at all...it may have taken me six hours but I've got my medal and I've finished the London marathon," she said.

David Stone, 41, from Exmouth, Devon, ran as Superman in 2:42.46, while Jon Morgan, 43, became the fastest cartoon character after completing the course as Fred Flintstone in 2:46.59.

'Absolutely brilliant'

Mr Stone said: "It was great out there because there was so much support. Everyone was shouting 'Superman', there were arms going up in the air. It was absolutely brilliant."

David Rathband, the Northumbria police officer who was blinded by gunman Raoul Moat, was one of those taking part.

Other runners included couple Andrew Ford and Katrina Scaife, from Brighton, who took time out at the 20-mile mark to get married at a Docklands hotel.

Sophie Raworth: "I've had a nightmare... but I'm really glad that I've actually crossed the finishing line"

A spokesman for Guinness World Records said 28 records had been confirmed by 1600 BST.

He said: "They're ranging from the fastest man juggling a football to the quickest marching band. It's an incredible sight seeing all these fantastic individuals taking part in this great day."

Chef Michel Roux junior, was taking part in his 17th marathon but he said: "It doesn't get any easier. This time I managed just under four hours which is pretty slow for me, but I've had a lot of issues training.

"But one thing which got me round was the great cheer, the great support."

'Devil cramp'

Other celebrities taking part included Olympic rowing champion James Cracknell, former Manchester United footballer Dwight Yorke, and models Agyness Deyn, Nell McAndrew and Elen Rivas.

McAndrew, who set a new personal best time with 3:08.25, said the atmosphere was "amazing".

London Marathon runners The 26.2 mile race ended at Buckingham Palace

Pop star Will Young, who finished in just over four hours, despite the "devil cramp" at 24 miles, said he felt "elated".

James Cracknell suffered brain damage when he collided with a lorry in a cycling endurance race in the United States in July.

The retired rower, who was raising money in the marathon for brain injury charity Headway, clocked a time of 3:03.56, and said he had not been able to train hard enough to achieve a quicker time.

"For me, completing it was the target and getting the most out of my body," he said.

Pc Rathband is raising money for his charity which supports emergency services personnel who have been injured by criminals in the line of duty.

Organisers added seven Japanese athletes after what was supposed to be their final trial for the world championships - the Nagoya Marathon - was cancelled because of the earthquake and tsunami.

Are you taking part? If, so we would like to see your pictures of the London Marathon. Send your pictures and videos to yourpics@bbc.co.uk or text them to 61124 (UK) or +44 7725 100 100 (International). If you have a large file you can upload here.

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