London Marathon’s World Athletics Heritage Plaque Celebration

Explore the legacy of the London Marathon as it receives the World Athletics Heritage Plaque, commemorating its founding vision and remarkable history. From iconic races and legendary champions to charitable endeavors, this event continues to captivate athletes and spectators alike.

The London Marathon’s Storied Legacy Celebrated with World Athletics Heritage Plaque

In a fitting tribute, the annual London Marathon has been recognized with the prestigious World Athletics Heritage Plaque, cementing its place as a competition of global significance.

The award, announced on March 29th – the anniversary of the inaugural race in 1981 – highlights the marathon’s remarkable history and its enduring impact on the sport of athletics.

The London Marathon was co-founded by Chris Brasher and John Disley, both accomplished athletes in their own right. Brasher had helped pace Sir Roger Bannister to the first sub-four-minute mile, while Disley won bronze in the 1952 Olympic steeplechase. Their vision, inspired by a visit to the New York Marathon in 1979, was to create an event that would “have fun and provide some happiness and sense of achievement in a troubled world” – a goal that remains central to the race’s identity today.

“The London Marathon is rightly as famous worldwide as a charity fundraiser as it is for its super-fast finishing times and head-to-head battles at the front,” – Sebastian Coe, World Athletics President

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe praised the event’s ability to capture the public’s imagination, citing iconic moments like the 1981 men’s race, where American Dick Beardsley and Norway’s Inge Simonsen crossed the line hand-in-hand, and Grete Waitz’s world record-breaking performance in the women’s division two years later.

London Marathon Events Chief Executive Nick Bitel expressed the organization’s gratitude for the prestigious accolade, saying, “We are truly honored to receive this recognition from World Athletics and it is a wonderful tribute to the London Marathon and the work of so many people over the years.

Since its inception, the London Marathon has cemented its status as one of the elite races on the global stage. It has witnessed the shattering of world records, the emergence of legendary champions, and the inspiring feats of recreational runners raising funds for worthy causes.

As the 44th edition of the London Marathon approaches on April 21st, this prestigious World Athletics Heritage Plaque serves as a testament to the event’s enduring legacy and its unparalleled contribution to the sport of athletics.

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