London Marathon to feature IPC Marathon World Cup
Tuesday, 11 September 2012
September 11 - Next year's Virgin London Marathon will feature an International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Athletics Marathon World Cup, it was announced today.
The event, the biggest marathon in the world, which will take place on April 21, will feature races for athletes in the T42-T46 category who have limb impairments and in the T11-T13 class for runners with visual impairment.
Among those expected to compete will be Spain's Alberto Suarez Laso (pictured above), who won the T12 Paralympic marathon in London on Sunday (September 9) in 2 hours 24min 50sec, a world record.
"We are delighted to have the opportunity to further develop events within marathon running, especially after the amazing exploits of our athletes over the last 10 days," said Hugh Brasher, the race director of the London Marathon.
"It was superb to have our 2012 London Marathon wheelchair champions David Weir and Shelly Woods bring home gold and silver in the T54 London 2012 Paralympic Games marathons and this will be a great legacy from London 2012."
The wheelchair races will take place as normal but it is planned to make the new races an annual event leading up to 2017, when London hopes to host the IPC World Athletics Championships in the Olympic Stadium.
London has already been awarded the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships for that year.
"Over the next five years, in the lead up to the World Championships in London in 2017, we feel we can really work with IPC Athletics to improve standards and help develop the sport of elite marathon running within these classes," said Brasher.
"We believe this is a natural progression from the work we have done within elite wheelchair marathon racing."
The classes chosen will allow Britain's Richard Whitehead to take part.
The Nottingham runner holds the world record for his category having run 2:42:52 in the Chicago Marathon two years ago.
But the marathon was not included for his T42 category in the Paralympics and, in one of the most remarkable performances of the Games, he dropped down to the 200 metres and won a gold medal.
"This is fantastic news and I would like to thank the organisers for their support, the profile of para-marathon running will be increased by this partnership and I look forward to the first event next year," said Xavier Gonzalez, the chief executive of the IPC.