Page last updated at 16:06 GMT, Sunday, 25 April 2010 17:06 UK

London Marathon runners set new world records

Katharine Merry interviews a camel

Sir Richard Branson was dressed as a butterfly and Princess Beatrice wore black with a green tutu - Footage courtesy of BBC Sport

Several world records for running in fancy dress have been broken as up to 36,000 people took part in this year's London Marathon.

Princess Beatrice, the first royal to complete the race, was in a group of 34 who set a record for the highest number of interlinked runners to finish.

Ethiopian athlete Tsegaye Kebede came first among the male elite runners, recording a time of 2:05:18.

Russia's Liliya Shobukhova was the leading woman, clocking 2:21:59.

Princess Beatrice
Princess Beatrice is raising money for the charity Children in Crisis

Beatrice was part of a "human caterpillar" which was connected, two by two, by bungee cords. They crossed the line in 5:15:57.

The 21-year-old's mother, the Duchess of York, said she was "so proud" of her daughter and vowed to take part in next year's marathon herself.

"For so long I've been trying to get her fit and now she's showing me up today," the duchess told the BBC.

"I've just decided that if she's such a good role model to me then next year I'm going to do it. I'm going to definitely commit myself."

There were 41 record attempts in all.

Sir Richard Branson
Sir Richard Branson wore butterfly wings as he went round the course

Emmerdale actor Tony Audenshaw said it meant "everything" to have become the fastest celebrity to finish the marathon this year and also the fastest ever as a baby.

He crossed the line in three hours and 13 minutes saying: "You can forget about the 100m record; this is the record people are interested in - the world's fastest baby in a marathon."

Account manager David Ross, 42, from Sutton became the fastest-ever cartoon character.

He dressed as Fred Flintstone and carried an inflatable club during his run, which took three hours and seven minutes.

"I got a bit tired saying 'Yabba Dabba Doo', but it's a very proud moment," he said. "It's been a good day."

Police officer Jill Christie wore a Superwoman outfit and took the record for quickest female superhero.

A runner dressed as a gingerbread man
Many Guinness World Records were broken by the marathon runners

"I recommend dressing in a costume, even if you're not going for a record, because you get so much encouragement," said the 27-year-old from Brentford, west London.

Financial analyst Ben Afforselles from Hamstreet, Kent, was fastest leprechaun, while Kevin Robins from Sevenoaks, also in Kent, became the quickest runner dressed as an animal, in a tiger outfit.

He said he was racing against a lobster who was also going for the record.

"Coming up The Mall, I thought he was going to run past me," the 33-year-old said.

The Icelandic ash cloud had threatened to disrupt the race and many of the elite athletes only arrived after boarding a specially chartered flight from Madrid on Thursday.

Last year's runner-up, Britain's Mara Yamauchi, finished 10th.

She said she had endured a "mental rollercoaster" after spending six days travelling to London from her training camp in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

MARATHON FACTS
Runners in the marathon
In 2009 Samuel Wanjiru of Kenya set the fastest ever time of 2:05:10
The fastest woman was Paula Radcliffe of Great Britain who set a time of 2:15:25 in 2003
Jerzy Kolodziej, age 86, and Irene Clarke, age 83, were the oldest competitors this year
The youngest were James Bruton and Ed Hall, both 18 on Sunday
There are 81 pubs along the route
10 Guinness World Records were set in 2009, including Sally Orange who was the fastest runner dressed as a fruit (4:32:28)

Meanwhile former Army Major Phil Packer, who sustained serious spinal cord injuries in 2008, is aiming to walk the route in 26 hours for 26 charities.

The ex-serviceman, who last year took 14 days to complete the course, has raised a total of £1.3m for charity.

Among the celebrities taking part was Virgin Atlantic boss Sir Richard Branson, whose time was 5:02:24.

He said he was "glad" he had participated and praised the "brilliant" crowd.

Pop star Natalie Imbruglia agreed, saying: "When you're feeling tired and they start cheering, you just find all this energy."

"My feet are killing me," she admitted.

TV presenter Jenni Falconer completed the race but said she was "gutted" to have just missed her target of three-and-a-half hours.

However chef Gordon Ramsay, running his 11th marathon in as many years, failed to complete the race.

Comedian Russell Howard said he would "definitely not" run another marathon, after finishing in four hours and 15 minutes.

"I had a running duel with a man dressed as a banana for 20 miles and eventually he beat me," he added.


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FROM OTHER NEWS SITES
Mercury FM Crawley Marathon: World Records Fall Thick And Fast - 34 hrs ago
Mail Online UK That's our girl! Princess Beatrice helps set London Marathon record as 37,000 runners take part - 34 hrs ago
The Sun It's a right royal marathon - 42 hrs ago
Metro.co.uk Thousands brave rain to run London Marathon - 44 hrs ago
Scottish Sun It's a right royal marathon 13 minutes ago - 45 hrs ago


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