Tens of thousands of people have braved the pouring rain to complete what is likely to have been the largest London Marathon in history and which also saw a new top time in the men’s elite race.

Some 49,675 runners registered for this year’s race, up from the previous record of 43,199 in 2019 – and around 48,000 are expected to have crossed the finish line on Sunday.

TCS London Marathon organisers said they expanded numbers in an attempt to reach a cap of 50,000.

The race also saw dozens more records smashed – including a new top time for the London race achieved by Kelvin Kiptum, who completed the men’s elite heat in 2:01:25.

Meanwhile, amateur runners broke 45 Guinness World Records, including Alex Grady for fastest time dressed as a boxer and Richard Allison for quickest while dressed as a three-dimensional dinosaur.

BBC Radio 1 DJ Adele Roberts, who began using a stoma bag in 2021 following surgery for bowel cancer, completed the fastest marathon for a person with an ileostomy, with a time of 3:30:22.

Roberts showed a tiny replica medal for her stoma, which she has named Audrey, in a video posted on her Instagram story where she thanked her supporters, adding: “We did it, up yours cancer.”

The runners set off beneath overcast skies amid temperatures of around 8 degrees, and the downpours came mid-morning, affecting both the elite and mass participation races.

Among them were England rugby union captain Chris Robshaw, X-Factor 2014 contestant Jake Quickenden, and a team of EastEnders actors racing in memory of their late co-star Dame Barbara Windsor.

At the finish line, Heather Peace – of the EastEnders troupe – said she was “absolutely stoked” to hear they had raised £50,000 for Alzheimers UK.

Some £60 million is expected to have been gathered for charities in total.

The women’s elite race got off to a dramatic start after record-holder Brigid Kosgei began limping and pulled out after just three minutes.

The Kenyan holds the fastest women’s marathon time of 2:14:04.

Sifan Hassan, an Ethiopian-born Dutch athlete, took first place – a surprise win after she fell back at the 15-mile mark clutching her hip, and given it was her debut marathon.

The 30-year-old finished with a time of 2:18.33.

Men’s winner Kiptum (23) missed out on Eliud Kipchoge’s world record by just 18 seconds.

Britain’s first finisher in the men’s race, Emile Cairess, came sixth on his marathon debut while fellow GB athlete and junior doctor Philip Sesemann placed eighth.

Sir Mo Farah (40), who was competing at marathon level for the final time, finished just behind at ninth with a time of 2:10.28.

Extinction Rebellion (XR) protesters who gathered in the streets nearby for the third day of their demonstration dubbed “The Big One” stuck to their pledge of avoiding disruption to the race.

According to breakingnews.ie. Source of photos: internet