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Last Updated: Sunday, 23 April 2006, 08:07 GMT 09:07 UK
London Marathon photos

The leading women cross the start line in south-east London

The elite women's race gets under way at 0900 BST amid wet conditions and without the injured Paula Radcliffe

American Deena Kastor passes the Tower of London as she enters the latter stages of the race

Olympic bronze medallist Deena Kastor starts strongly and builds a healthy lead with the aid of two pacemakers

Deena Kastor becomes only the eighth woman to clock under two hours and 20 minutes

The American takes the tape in a time of 2hrs 19mins 35secs to add to her title in Chicago from last year

Mara Yamauchi finishes just short of four minutes off the pace

Mara Yamauchi, Britain's main challenger in the absence of Radcliffe, puts in a very creditable display and finishes sixth

Ethiopian long-distance specialist Haile Gebrselassie

In the men's event, the pre-race favourite Haile Gebrselassie starts strongly and stays with the leading pack

Martin Lel leads the chasing pack in the race's latter stages

Kenyan Martin Lel, the defending champion, shows signs of winning again as he takes turns in driving the pace

Stefano Baldini emerges from Blackfriars underpass

The leading European challenge, in one of the strongest ever fields, comes from Italian Olympic champion Stefano Baldini

Kenyan Felix Limo shows intentions of claiming another title

With wins in Rotterdam, Berlin and Chicago, Felix Limo makes an impressive start to his London debut

Felix Limo crosses the line in a time of two hours six minutes 39 seconds

Lel and Limo break with three miles to go and only a tense sprint finish separates the countrymen at the end

David Weir crosses the line to claim his second London title

In the men's wheelchair race, a dominant David Weir sets a new course record of 1hr 29mins 48secs

Italian Francesca Porcellato celebrates victory

Italian Francesca Porcellato claims her fourth consecutive title in the women's wheelchair race in 1hr 59mins 57secs

Zoe Salmon, Jade Goody, Sophie Anderton and rowers James Cracknell and Matthew Pinsent are among those taking part

With the top athletes' races over, the focus switches to the masses and the celebrities that lead them off

Thousands of runners head towards the start

Around 35,000 runners patiently edge their way to the start for what will be one of the most memorable days of their lives

Lloyd Scott expects to take around a week to complete the course

Seasoned charity runner Lloyd Scott is one of the last to get going in his St George and the dragon costume

The newlyweds continue their race with the bride's father close behind

Katie Austin and Gordon Fryer pause on Tower Bridge to get married before continuing on towards the Docklands

One runner opts only to wear a leopardskin thong and bow-tie

Some competitors opt for minimal running attire as they attempt to complete the course and entertain the crowds

A runner dresses as the Queen on the week of her birthday

A fan of Queen Elizabeth decides to mark the monarch's 80th birthday in their own unique way

One team dress as a caterpillar or worm in efforts to draw attention to themselves

A team of charity runners dress in a very unorthodox outfit so as not to be missed by the spectators and cameras

A runner collapses at the finish line

Despite the enthusiasm of the athletes, it is not all plain sailing with some finding the exertion overwhelming

An army of finishers make their way from the finish line to the bags and supporters

For the majority though, the day is a success with personal bests set and thousands of pounds raised for charity

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