If you like your facts sweaty, gasping and with nipples lightly bleeding through a skimpy lycra tank top, then pull up a chaise lounge and listen. Today was the day that the first London marathon was held way back in 1981. Many ran in fancy dress, but as this was 1980’s fancy dress, there were probably a lot of Bonnie Tylers, Steve Guttenbergs and variable rate mortgages. Only 6,700 took part in this first event, but it proved so popular that there were 90,000 the following year, when many more portable toilets were required.
American Dick Beardsley, 24, and Norwegian Inge Simonsen, 25, both won the men's race as they crossed the finish line hand-in-hand with a time of two hours, 11 minutes and 48 seconds.
Joyce Smith, from the UK, was the first woman to cross the finishing line, in 2 hours, 29 minutes and 56 seconds.
The marathon was started by Chris Brasher, a former Olympic Steeplechaser, with an initial budget of £100,000 which paid for 2,000 foil blankets, 75 porta-loos and 50,000 plastic cups.