Inspired by Olympic champion Chris Brasher's experience at the New York Marathon, the London Marathon was established in 1981. The inAugustural event attracted over 20,000 runners; 7,747 were accepted and 6,255 crossed the finishing line.
Ever since then the event has grown in size and popularity, both for participants and spectators.
In 2012 the overall winner was Kenyan runner, Wilson Kipsang, who smashed the course record to take the Virgin London Marathon men's title line in 2h 04min 40sec. The women's race was won by another Kenyan, Mary Keitan, who won the race for the second year in a row.
The Virgin London Marathon is world-famous as a charity fund-raising event, and spectators - and television audiences - are entertained annually by the thousands of runners who undertake the gruelling 26.2-mile run in fancy dress.
The race starts in Greenwich Park; from here the runners head east to Woolwich, then double back to the Cutty Sark on the Greenwich waterfront, and on to Bermondsey, Canary Wharf and Limehouse. The run then carries on through the heart of historic London, passing the Tower of London and Nelson's Column, before finishing at St. James's Park.