19 Mar 2024

The Original Marathon Returns To White City Place

Last Saturday, 75 participants ran in the footsteps of legends to complete the Original Marathon, finishing on the iconic 1908 Olympic marathon finish line at White City Place.

The first marathons had varying distances, but a famous race changed all that. The London 1908 Olympic Games marathon ran from inside the grounds of Windsor Castle to The White City Stadium with the final lap being altered to finish in front of the Royal Box. And so the 26.2 mile modern marathon was born!

During the 1908 race, South African Charles Heffron was leading the race only to be overtaken by Italian Dorando Pietri 2 miles before the finish, after accepting a glass of champagne. Yet luck was not on Pietri’s side. He entered the stadium in the wrong direction, fell 5 times, crossing the finish line first, but was disqualified as officials assisted him.

Thankfully, devoid of champagne-induced missteps and mishaps, the fastest 2024 runner completed the course in an impressive 3 hours and 43 seconds. All runners were delighted to cross the embossed finish line and are certainly worthy Olympians in our eyes.

The Original Marathon was held in partnership with London charity Aspire, who provide practical help to people who have been paralysed by Spinal Cord Injury, supporting them from injury to independence. To donate or for more information about the charity, click here. To read more about The Original Marathon, click here.