Soap stars, sporting heroes, musicians and some of Britain’s most famous TV presenters will be taking on the challenge of running the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon on 23 April for their chosen charities.
Topping the bill of soap actors is Adam Woodyatt, who has famously played Ian Beale in EastEnders since the hit BBC show first began in 1985.
Woodyatt will be starting alongside his son Sam, 19, and it is likely to be a very emotional day for the two of them. The pair decided to run the Virgin Money London Marathon last summer, agreeing to raise money for The Air Ambulance. They never expected that within a few months Sam would be needing an air ambulance after being hit by a car in London and flown to hospital.
Sam was initially put in an induced coma following the accident and then spent time recovering in a wheelchair. But he never lost his drive to take part in the marathon alongside his dad and the duo are more eager than ever to get to the Finish Line and raise as much money as possible.
Moving from the streets of Walford to the cobbles of Coronation Street, another soap star running is Chris Harper, currently starring in the ITV show as the sinister Nathan who is at the centre of a child grooming storyline. Chris has been shocked by his research into the part and has decided to run for the NSPCC.
One of Great Britain’s most famous ever sporting stars Jayne Torvill will be making her marathon debut, running for the children’s charity Variety. Ice-skating queen Torvill, whose gold medal-winning routine alongside Christopher Dean at the 1984 Winter Olympics was watched live by an incredible 24 million people in the UK, is one of a collection of great British sportswomen running the marathon.
Double Olympic gold medallists Helen Glover and Heather Stanning spent six years working together to win everything in the world of rowing, now they will be competing against each other in London.
The pair won gold at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Games and though they will be running against one another, are both looking forward to experiencing another memorable sporting moment together. Glover is running for the Brain and Spine Foundation while Stanning will be raising money for Royal British Legion Industries.
Four-time World Ironman champion Chrissie Wellington is also running this year for two charities: Cancer Research UK and Epilepsy Society.
All three members of the pop-rock band Scouting for Girls are running their first marathons for Alzheimer’s Society while BBC radio DJs Adele Roberts and Nick Bright are running for Heads Together, the Virgin Money London Marathon Charity of the Year.
BBC radio DJ Chris Evans returns again to raise money for BBC Children in Need while newsreaders Sophie Raworth, Sian Williams (Heads Together) and Nina Hossain (Whizz-Kidz) are all running, as is BBC Match of the Day 2 presenter Mark Chapman.
For a full list of celebrities running the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon, please click here.