Three teenagers will make Virgin Money London Marathon history on Sunday 22 April when they become the first Millennials to take part in the historic event.
Isabelle Ellis, Tom Roberts and Gabrielle Pearce – who will all be celebrating their 18th birthdays on Race Day – will write themselves into history as the first runners born in the year 2000 or after to participate in the London Marathon.
At the other end of the age spectrum is this year’s oldest runner, John Starbrook, who will be participating in his 33rd London Marathon at the age of 87, while the oldest female runner this year is Eileen Noble who is 83.
Isabelle Ellis, 18, from Wimbledon, London, who is running for Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“I have run the past six Virgin Money Giving London Mini Marathons but it was my final year eligible last year. I enjoyed the event so much I thought I’m going to have to do the full marathon instead.”
Tom Roberts, 18, from Edenbridge, Kent, running for Whizz-Kidz, said:
“I wanted to do something that I could tell my grandchildren about one day, that on my 18th birthday I ran the London Marathon!
“There is also a certain element of competition with my father. He did it in 1999 – the year before I was born. He ran 3 hours and 22 minutes then and it is my aim is to beat that.”
Gabrielle Pearce, 18, from Chelmsford, Essex, running for Sense, said:
“I keep being asked ‘why do you want to put yourself through that?’ But it’s something different, to run the London Marathon on the day of my 18th birthday is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
For further details and quotes from the youngest runners, click here.
John Starbrook, 87, from Staines-upon-Thames, Surrey, who is running for Age UK, said:
“I am chuffed to be the oldest runner in the race. As long as I’m not the slowest runner, I’m happy to be the oldest.
“I run as much I can and if I can’t I go to the gym. I go on the treadmill, do some weights or go in the swimming pool.
“I often bump into other elderly runners or swimmers when I go to the pool and I ask them their age and they are usually in their seventies. I think to myself ‘I can’t say I’m as old as that’ so I say I’m 76. I don’t like being 10 years older than everyone else!”
Eileen Noble, 83, from Bexleyheath, Kent, said:
“I don’t have any real secret to my running. It is just about hanging in there and not giving up. Even when I have been ill as soon as I can I’ve got back out running again – it’s therapeutic.”
For further details and quotes from the oldest runners, click here.