‘It was a quite amazing day,’ says Brasher
22 April 2013
Hugh Brasher declared his first London Marathon as race director "an outstanding success" in challenging circumstances as he looked back on a day that brought record crowds to London's streets to support the event in the wake of tragic events at the Boston Marathon last Monday.
More than 700,000 people witnessed some spectacular achievements by the event's elite athletes and watched more than 34,000 people make the 26.2-mile journey from Blackheath to The Mall wearing black ribbons to remember the victims of the Boston bombings.
The London Marathon pledged to donate £2 for every finisher to The One Fund Boston set up to help those affected by the incidents, so with 34,278 crossing the line yesterday the London Marathon's 2013 runners have raised £68,556 for the fund.
"It has been a very challenging week with the circumstances in Boston," said Brasher. "What the Virgin London Marathon did was put on a quite amazing event, supported by Londoners in record numbers.
"We saw some incredible performances from our athletes, including a world record for El Amin Chentouf in the IPC World Cup and a course record by Tatyana McFadden in the women's wheelchair race.
"We also had our 2010 champion Tsegaye Kebede, who came back to win again in the men's race, and saw Priscah Jeptoo move from third last year to triumph this time."
Brasher acknowledged that the ‘challenges' continued on race day when there was a collision on the course between women's Olympic champion Tiki Gelana and Josh Cassidy, the 2010 London Marathon wheelchair champion.
"Overall we are exceptionally pleased with how things went yesterday," he said. "There was an unfortunate incident and we need to reflect on that. We will be talking to all the different people involved and looking at what we need to learn for the future.
"But overall we are really, really pleased with the support London showed us. People said the atmosphere has never been better. It was an outstanding success."
Brasher also announced a five-year extension to the London marathon's sponsorship deal with Virgin Money and a new title for the 2014 race, which will be known as the Virgin Money London Marathon.
"Effectively this takes Virgin Money's sponsorship of the race to nine years," he said. "Their aim was to encourage runners to raise £250 million for charity over five years and after three the figure is already £150m.
"This new deal underlines their commitment to our event. It is a very important step for the race."