Tuesday, April 12, 2011

"It was a cold and rainy day but the support for that very first marathon was unbelievable."

Little did American distance runner Dick Beardsley know that when he woke on the morning of March 29, 1981, he was about to embark on a day that would see his name go down in history.

More than 7,000 people ran in the inaugural London Marathon on that day after the organisers received 20,000 applications, but two names were to become synonymous with the event for the next 30 years.

Norwegian Inge Simonsen and Beardsley were joint winners of the men's title, crossing the line holding hands in a display of sportsmanship which was unusual at the time and almost unheard of today.

The latter had never been to the UK before and two things stick in his mind all these years later - the crowd and the weather.