MPs in starting blocks for London Marathon


Alun Cairns hopes to beat his 2013 time of 3 hours 39 minutes

As political photo-opportunities go, it was slightly unusual. Ed Balls was wearing tights.

The shadow chancellor was jogging alongside eight other MPs who are taking part in this Sunday's Virgin Money London Marathon. Vale of Glamorgan Tory MP Alun Cairns is flying the flag for Wales in what will be his third marathon.

Mr Cairns is raising funds for local charities Marie Curie Cancer Care and Ty Hapus, a respite care centre for the families of Alzheimer's sufferers. You can sponsor him here. Charity aside, his politician's competitive instinct is never far from view and he hopes to beat his 2013 time of 3 hours 39 minutes, which made him the fastest Conservative MP.

So how's the training going? "It was ok until I foolishly played rugby in a charity match where the House of Commons and Lords played against the Welsh assembly. "I hurt my back just about a month ago, so I've had to run through that.

"Everyone says 'you shouldn't have played rugby, how old are you', those basic questions but ignorance is something we always continue to display."

More than 35,000 runners are expected to toe the start line, including Mo Farah, Plaid Cymru AM Bethan Jenkins - and me (three names you don't often see in the same sentence).

Alun Cairns said the crowds along the route "make you feel a million dollars" but he won't be taking his eye off his stopwatch. He has Labour's Shadow Foreign Secretary, Jim Murphy, in his sights. Mr Murphy ran 3 hours 31 minutes last year - the best by an MP on the day - but is aiming for 3 hours 19 minutes this year.

"I'll see if I can trip him up along the way," joked Mr Cairns. At least I think he was joking.

I'll update you on the politicians' times here next week. Unless they beat me, of course.

David Cornock Article written by David Cornock David Cornock Parliamentary correspondent, Wales

The last Welsh Questions as MPs say their farewells

Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb has been answering MPs' questions for the last time before the general election.

Read full article


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination

Comments 5 of 10



  • Firth of Forth bridgeWhat came Firth?

    How the Forth was crossed before the famous bridge

  • Petrol pumpPumping up

    Why are petrol prices rising again?

  • Image of George from Tube CrushTube crush

    How London's male commuters set Chinese hearts racing

  • Elderly manSuicide decline

    The number of old people killing themselves has fallen. Why?

  • TricycleTreasure trove

    The lost property shop stuffed with diamonds, bikes... and a leg

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.