More than 40,000 runners take part in London Marathon

Tens of thousands of people have gathered in London for the biggest race in Britain.

More than 40,000 runners will take part in this year’s London Marathon while crowds cheer them on from the sidelines.

Athletes, celebrities and elite amateurs will compete against each other, passing many of the city’s iconic landmarks along the way.

The huge global spectacle, and the biggest event of London’s running calendar, starts just after 10am.

London Marathon official coach Martin Yelling has some tips for runners on avoiding ‘a world of pain’.

He warned those taking part in the race not to ‘go off like a puppy in the park’.

He added: ‘Be really calm, patient and control your first few miles.

‘If it feels easy at the start you have probably got it right.

‘By spreading your effort out consistently and evenly you give yourself a better chance of not falling to pieces in the second half.

‘Go off crazy, end in a world of pain.’

What is the London Marathon route?

The course is mainly flat and passes many of London’s iconic landmarks. Many parts of the capital will be brought to a standstill, with extensive road closures planned.

The 26.2 mile route starts in Blackheath and heads east through Woolwich for three miles before turning west and passing the Cutty Sark in Greenwich between miles six and seven.

It crosses the river at Tower Bridge and then snakes around the Isle of Dogs, past Canary Wharf, before heading west again.

The home stretch from mile 23 takes runners from London Bridge, along the Embankment to Parliament Square, Birdcage Walk and finishes on the Mall in front of Buckingham Palace.

The route has virtually stayed the same throughout its 38-year history, undergoing very few changes since its introduction in 1981.

This year’s marathon is sponsored by Virgin Money UK.

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