Now that Spring is here marathon season is upon us … all over the world. A few weeks ago, LA hosted its marathon … last Monday, Boston hosted its marathon and yesterday London, England hosted the 32nd annual London Marathon. Prince Harry, that fun-loving ginger prince who knows a good time when he sees one, was on hand during the event yesterday to present the awards to the winning female and male runners of this year’s London Marathon. Click below to see Harry posing with Mary Keitany and Wilson Kipsang of Kenya — the winners of this year’s London Marathon.
He’s viewed as the joker of the Royal Family. And yesterday Prince Harry lived up to his reputation when he claimed on live television that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would run in next year’s London marathon. He was presenting medals to the winners of the 26.2-mile race when he decided to stitch up his brother. Speaking to BBC presenter Sue Barker, he said: ‘What’s fantastic is my brother and his wife will be doing it next year, I think.’ He added with a smirk: ‘He’s going to have to do it now, isn’t he? Done, done.’ A Clarence House spokesman later confirmed it was ‘said in jest’. He was speaking at the 32nd London Marathon, in which a record 35,970 runners took part, raising millions of pounds for charity. Kenyan Mary Keitany retained her marathon title with a women’s race time of two hours, 18 minutes and 36 seconds. Fellow Kenyan Wilson Kipsang won the men’s race on his first attempt, with a time of two hours, four minutes and 44 seconds – four seconds behind the course record. Claire Hallissey was the first female British athlete across the line in 11th place, running in two hours 27 minutes and 44 seconds. She is now in pole position to be chosen to join Paula Radcliffe and Mara Yamauchi at the London 2012 Olympics. Looking ahead to the Olympics, Prince Harry, who is patron of the London Marathon Charitable Trust, admitted yesterday that he was most excited about watching the women’s beach volleyball – known for its bikini-clad athletes. The Apache helicopter co-pilot said: ‘I have got lots of Army friends coming down for that so we will be sitting there watching that.’ Showing some faith in his cousin Zara Phillips, the former world eventing champion who hopes to qualify for the Olympics, he added: ‘We have got our fingers crossed for Zara obviously.’ Britain had plenty to celebrate in the wheelchair races, with David Weir and Shelly Woods both winning their races. Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, 45, completed the marathon in five hours and 31 minutes, having credited his Lycra tights for helping him during training. Nell McAndrew had the fastest ‘celebrity’ time of two hours and 54 minutes, while rower James Cracknell ran it in two hours and 59 minutes, despite the serious brain injury he received after he was knocked off his bike in 2010. Newsreader Sophie Raworth, 43, ran in aid of St John’s Ambulance after collapsing during last year’s event and completed it in three hours 56 minutes. She said: ‘It was very hard. That was the first time I managed to go all the way round upright because last year I managed to have a bit of a disaster and collapsed. I found myself running the first 20 miles with a professor of sport so I reckoned that if I was to collapse again he’d probably know the warning signs’ … In the men’s event, Wilson Kipsang, of Kenya, won at his first attempt. The reigning Frankfurt Marathon champion beat compatriot Martin Lel into second. Ethiopia’s Tsegaye Kebede was third.
Because of my newfound love of running, I’m paying more attention to stories like this … but anytime Prince Harry is in the mix, yeah, I’m deffo paying attention. It sounds like, overall, the 32nd annual London Marathon was a huge success. My hat is off to any person — no matter their circumstance — who attempts to run a 26.2 mile marathon. I hope to be a marathon runner someday … but I’m not there quite yet. Much love and congrats goes out to all of the participants of the London Marathon this year. There are still quite a few big marathons coming up this year. Best of luck to all the runners who will be participating.