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London Marathon Update

The Flora London Marathon was held yesterday, and was won by Martin Lel of Kenya who set a record time of 2 hours, 5 minutes, 15 seconds. It was his third win in four years. See the list of winners, and read on for updates on runners previously featured at Neatorama.

Buster Martin ran the marathon yesterday in slightly more than ten hours, but officials from the Guinness Book of World Records are holding off on certifying him as the oldest marathon runner ever. Martin does not have proof of his age. Evidence has surfaced that Martin is a mere 94 years old, not 101 as previously claimed.
Amarilis Espinoza, of Guinesss World Records, said: “We’re not denying that he is obviously an old man running the marathon. But at this point he has not yet sent any documents we can use as definitive proof for a record attempt.”

Four of the six Maasai warriors from Tanzania completed the race in 5 hours, 24 minutes, but one was taken to the hospital, and another accompanied him. They raised at least £26,000 in their quest for a water system for their village, which is expected to be more once the donations are counted.

Dave Heeley crossed the finish line in 5 hours, 20 minutes, and completed his goal of being the first blind runner to accomplish seven marathons in seven days on seven continents.

See pictures from the marathon at the BBC.

The best thing about the London marathon is the costumes. You get loads of people just sticking a wig and some headboppers on but there are some really excellent ones too. This year there was someone dressed as the Iron Giant (from Brad Bird's animation) complete with a miniature figure of Hogarth on his shoulder, a rhino, a giant pink nurse, someone on stilts and a load of convicts chained together!
You can see most of them here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/soggy-semolina/2410687152/
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Aww, a few years ago I was living right in the heart of London and inadvertently came upon the London marathon while I was out for a wander one day (not sure how I'd previously missed the fact that the thing was going to be occurring, but there ya go). I ended up right near the finish line as runners were finishing, it was the first time I'd ever seen an actual marathon and so I assumed that people would be incredibly triumphant as they crossed the finish line, jubilant and cheerful and celebratory ... instead, those poor people staggered across it as if on the very last breath of their lives, never have I seen such UTTERLY exhausted and wrung-out individuals *chuckle*

Running a marathon is no doubt cool and all, but oy vey, personally I'd pay a whole lot more to -not- ever look the way those poor runners looked at the end!
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Where are the pictures of the Maasai? Weren't they supposed to be in tribal dress? How can they photograph a guy in a green thong or a cow, but not a group carrying spears and shields?
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Bean grow up - it's an amazing accomplishment. Until someone holds a marathon in Antarctica that this guy can compete in - which he no doubt WOULD - he deserves praise. Get over your nitpicking and recognize someone doing something noteworthy.

One a literary note one of my favorite parts of Hemingway's "Africa novels" ("the Green Hills of Africa" and "True at First Light") were the parts talking about the native peoples running after his jeep whenever he visited a village. There was a detail in...I think it was T@FL detailing a long race and how joyous the whole affair was.
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