The London Marathon in School

Published on 28th September, 2022

The London Marathon - what a brilliant sporting event to encourage your pupils into physical activity.  It’s a huge event, steeped in history with so many inspiring stories.

The sport of running has the power to produce endorphins; hormones that have so many benefits such as reducing stress, depression and anxiety, boosting self-esteem and supporting a healthy immune system.  WHAT AN OPPORTUNITY TO IMPROVE MENTAL HEALTH AND RESILIANCE!!

The London Marathon – what a brilliant sporting event to encourage your pupils into physical activity.  It’s a huge event, steeped in history with so many inspiring stories.

We don’t want, or expect, primary school children to run a marathon.  But they are likely to see it on TV. Talking to your class about the event, with some fun facts, will enthuse children into running and being fit.

To help you with this, we have added some one-off London Marathon in school activities to our calendar page.  Easy to deliver, fun, exciting and motivating for your pupils.

Here’s a few interesting facts about the London Marathon…

The 26.2 mile (42 kilometre) flat course set around the river Thames passing by Buckingham Palace, Westminster Bridge and The Houses of Parliament, has seen over 1 million finishers.

The London Marathon values are Inspiration, Excellence, Integrity, Together and Fun.


Despite suffering from anemia and exercise induced asthma, UK runner Paula Radcliffe broke the World Record at London in 2003 with a time of 2:15:25.  This record became the longest standing marathon world record, lasting more than 16 years.  In 2005 Paula won the London Marathon for the 3rd time!


Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya is widely considered one of the greatest marathon runners of all time. He is the current Marathon world record holder, and holds the course record for the London Marathon.  He has won the London Marathon 4 times (a record in itself), with his current record time being 2:02:37 in 2019.  Later that year, Kipchoge went on to break the two-hour marathon mark by 20 seconds. – That’s 4 and a half minutes per mile!!


The first ever winners of the London Marathon were Dick Beardsley from USA and Inge Simonsen from Norway.  They were neck and neck all the way round, fighting to become the first ever winner, but with less than half a mile to go, they agreed to share the title and crossed the finish line holding hands.  The finish line photograph of the pair crossing the finish line is still used by the London Marathon today.


“A group of friendly runners of all backgrounds and abilities who will be there to help others achieve their marathon goals” is how the London Marathon official website describes this year’s pacers.

Pacers are experienced runners who run the marathon at a predetermined time that’s comfortable for them.  They are clearly marked, and their aim is to allow others to know what pace they are running, helping to ensure runners can keep up a manageable pace.  They also have lots of encouraging and supportive words for participants who are finding it tough.


The London Marathon isn’t just for the elite.  Participants run for the experience, the atmosphere, the challenge and to raise money for charity.

Since 1981, runners have raised over one billion pounds for charity.  The ‘Charity of the Year’ for 2022 is The British Heart Foundation, but 100s of charities are supported through individuals and teams completing the race.

Many people race in fancy dress, both for charities and to set wacky World Records!  The Guinness Book of Records has over 200 records from the London Marathon.  In 2019 Oscar White broke the record for fastest marathon dressed in a tent, ran in 3:57:05.

Oscar said about the occasion ” The race was brilliant, the atmosphere was absolutely electric and the support was unlike any other race I’ve ever done, lined with thousands of people.  It was an incredible experience and getting the Guinness World Records title as well and making it so tight, like a Hollywood finish with two minutes to go, was an incredible experience. “

Five Fun Facts about the London Marathon

  1. Couples have been known to get married at the halfway point of the Marathon, before carrying on to complete the race.
  2. The oldest person to complete the marathon was 90 year old Jenny Wood-Allen in 2002. She completed the race in 11 hours and 34 minutes.
  3. A small group of runners known as the ‘ever presents’ have completed every London Marathon since it started in 1981.
  4. The London Marathon was set up by Olympic champion Chris Brasher and athlete John Disley, who ran the New York City Marathon in 1979.  They wanted to create an event with the same joyous atmosphere with the togetherness they saw in New York.
  5. Over 1 Million people have completed the London Marathon.

The London Marathon is being held on Sunday 2nd October.  We’d love you to share any plans you have with your class to celebrate the 2022 London Marathon.  And if anyone is competing, please send us your picture, and good luck!!  Follow us on our socials…