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Erection of the media centre for the London Marathon in Marlborough House garden

Commonwealth Headquarters hosts media centre for London Marathon

21 April 2017

Commonwealth flags will fly over more than 40,000 runners taking part in this year’s London Marathon as they stream past the Secretariat’s headquarters on The Mall on Sunday.

Organisers of the famous sporting event are using the gardens of Marlborough House as the media centre for the event.  Reporters and camera crews from all corners of the globe will use it as a base to cover the event.  It will be broadcast live on BBC 1 and carried around the world.

“Marlborough House offers a fantastic vantage point of the home stretch past St James’ Park towards Buckingham Palace,” said Paul Hammersley, Head of Facilities Management at the Commonwealth. “We’re honoured to be part of this famous event.”

From elite athletes clad in lycra to fancy dress hopefuls and celebrities, many competitors attempting the gruelling 26.2-mile course raise millions each year for their chosen charities. The 2016 London Marathon raised a record-breaking £59.4 million for charity, setting a new world record for an annual single day charity fundraising event for the tenth successive year.

The oldest man running this year’s race is Kenneth Jones at 83. He has run every London Marathon since it began in 1981. Other fun facts include:

  • The average marathon time is 4 hours 18 (men) or 4 hours 44 (women);
  • Dennis Kimetto of Kenya holds the men’s world record of 2:02:57, while the UK’s Paula Radcliffe is the women’s record holder, at 2.15.25;
  • A record total of 16 British MPs are taking part this year – which puts a whole new spin on what is meant by ‘running for office’;
  •  This year, for the first time in history, an indigenous Australian runner will take part. Harold Matthew lives on the remote Thursday Island in Far North Queensland;
  • All three members of the pop-rock band Scouting for Girls are running their first marathons for Alzheimer’s Society;
  • 300 litres of blue paint will line the course;
  • 50,000 metres of barriers will be used; and
  • 7,000 marshals will be present.

Virgin Money has sponsored the London Marathon since 2010. This is the third year that the Commonwealth has hosted the media centre for the event.