A total of 16 MPs are taking on the challenge of running the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon, smashing all previous records for MP entries. The previous record of nine was set in 2014.
The 16 include three women MPs – another record – including one from the Scottish National Party, Hannah Bardell, the first SNP member ever to run.
As usual, the Conservative Party provides the majority of the running politicians with nine to Labour’s five, although in 70-year-old Sir Kevin Barron, Labour does boast the oldest and the first knighted MP to run. There are no Liberal Democrats.
Alun Cairns will again start as the fastest entrant. The Secretary of State for Wales was just 15 minutes faster than Labour’s Dan Jarvis last year when Conservative Edward Timpson was another seven minutes slower. Conservative Graham Evans, independent Simon Danczuk and Conservative Amanda Solloway also produced their best times in 2016. No fewer than eight of this year’s entrants are London Marathon debutants.
A total of 70 Members of Parliament have run the London Marathon since 1981.
Matthew Parris holds the record as the fastest MP. His five London Marathon times (1981-85) are all faster than the next best, Doug Henderson.
Having run 10 apiece, Dick Douglas, Gary Waller and Alistair Burt jointly hold the record for the highest number of London Marathons completed as an MP. Douglas went on to complete a further 11 London Marathons after he left Parliament, then at the age of 70 decided that his 21st in 2002 would be his last.
Burt ran his 10th London Marathon last year, an incredible 32 years since his first in 1984. In fact, Burt holds the record among MPs for the longest period between his first and his most recent Marathons and has completed at least one in each of the last four decades.
Cairns will be looking to be the fastest MP for the third successive year and the Vale of Glamorgan MP improved his 2014 PB last year to move up to seventh on the all-time list. Jarvis improved his best for the third time to come in ahead of Timpson who was third quickest for the second year in a row.
The MPs running in 2017 are listed below:
Jon Ashworth – Labour, Leicester South (National Association for Children of Alcoholics)
Hannah Bardell – SNP, Livingstone (Michelle Henderson Cervical Cancer Trust & Jaks Den)
Sir Kevin Barron – Labour, Rother Valley (Age Concern Rotherham)
Alun Cairns – Con, Vale of Glamorgan (Heads Together & Age Connects)
Rehman Chishti – Con, Gillingham and Rainham (Cancer Research UK)
Nic Dakin – Labour, Scunthorpe (Scunthorpe Baptist Church Food Bank, Pancreatic Cancer & Lyndsey Lodge Hospice)
Simon Danczuk – Independent, Rochdale (Rochdale Connections Trust)
Mims Davies – Con, Eastleigh (CRY)
Jonathan Djanogly – Con, Huntingdon (Magpas Air Ambulance)
Chris Evans – Labour, Islwyn (Contact a Family)
Graham Evans – Con, Weaver Vale (ABF & Muscular Dystrophy)
Chris Green – Con, Bolton West (Bolton Hospice)
Dan Jarvis – Labour, Barnsley Central (The Barnsley Hospice)
Scott Mann – Con, North Cornwall (Friends of Bodmin, Launceston & Stratton Hospitals)
Amanda Solloway – Con, Derby North (Baby Unit at Royal Derby Hospital)
Edward Timpson – Con, Crewe & Nantwich (ABF & Muscular Dystrophy)