Radcliffe, the women’s marathon world record holder, will run what is expected to be her final competitive race on Sunday 26 April, when she returns to the event she won three times in four years between 2002 and 2005.
Radcliffe smashed the women’s world record with her second victory here in 2003, still almost three minutes faster than any other woman in history has completed the 26.2-mile distance, and she broke the world record for a women’s only race on her last appearance 10 years ago, a time that still stands as the official London Marathon course record.
“The London Marathon means so much to me,” she said. “I’ve grown up with it, watched it for so many years, and have really special memories from 2002, 2003 and 2005. I never thought I would be back here, so it’s really special and emotional that I’ve got a chance to do it again.”
Once Radcliffe has opened the giant metal doors marked N3 tomorrow morning, around 37,000 runners are expected to visit ExCeL before the Expo closes at 17:00 on Saturday, 25 April. Runners will pick up their race numbers and Ipico Sports Timing Tags, and visit numerous stands, displays and exhibitions dedicated to marathon running.
Some 70,000 people visit the London Marathon exhibition each year, and this year’s Expo is expected to be the biggest ever. Visitors will be able to wander around the many exhibitors’ stands, including all the major running brands, charities and international races, numerous athletics magazines, and a vast range of health and fitness products and services.
A number of elite runners and well-known faces will be appearing on stage at the London Marathon Virgin Money Lounge, including Britain’s superstar wheelchair racer David Weir, London Marathon course record holder Wilson Kipsang, men’s world record holder Dennis Kimetto and multiple Paralympic gold medallist Tatyana McFadden.
There will also be plenty of last-minute advice available at the Experts’ Corner where marathon coach Martin Yelling will be on hand, along with pacing experts from Runner’s World and sports scientists with nutrition and hydration tips.
More information, including opening hours, can be found on the London Marathon website: www.virginmoneylondonmarathon.com