• Mark Wright, Carrie Hope Fletcher and Andrew Strauss lead celebrity runners
• Array of Olympians sign up including former London Marathon champion Liz McColgan
• EastEnders cast reunite for #WeRunTogether campaign
TV presenter and former TOWIE star Mark Wright, theatre star Carrie Hope Fletcher and former England cricket captain Andrew Strauss lead the list of famous faces preparing to run the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 3 October.
Wright will run his first ever Virgin Money London Marathon for Flora’s Get Town’s Active campaign, aimed at inspiring people across the UK and Ireland to live a healthier, more active lifestyle. He will receive training tips and advice from London Marathon legend Paula Radcliffe.
“‘I’m hugely privileged to have the support of absolute marathon legend, Paula Radcliffe – it doesn’t get much better than that,” said Wright.
Joining him on the start line will be star of the new Andrew Lloyd Webber production of Cinderella The Musical and marathon newbie, Carrie Hope Fletcher.
The musical theatre actress, who is running to raise money for two charities – Alzheimer’s Research UK and Papyrus, a charity focused on the prevention of young suicide – said: “When I run the London Marathon, I can’t promise to be the fastest or the strongest, but I can promise to be the most enthusiastic, the most determined and to smile the entire way round – even if I feel like my feet are falling off by mile three.”
Former England cricket captain Strauss will run to raise money for the Ruth Strauss Foundation, a charity he set up in memory of his wife Ruth who died of cancer in 2018. It will be the second time that Strauss has run the London Marathon. He made his debut in 2013 when he ran alongside Ruth.
McColgan, who famously won the London Marathon in 1996, returns to the streets of London for the first time since 2007 and heads up a stellar list of Olympians taking part in Olympic year. They include:
• Chris Newton – three times Olympic silver and bronze medallist (cycling)
• Dani Rowe - Olympic gold medallist (cycling)
• Elana Meyer – South African Olympic silver medallist (athletics)
• Hannah Macleod - Olympic gold and bronze medallist (hockey)
• James Cracknell, double Olympic gold medallist (rowing)
• Joanna Rowsell - double Olympic gold medallist (cycling)
• John Collins - Team GB rower at Tokyo 2020 Olympic games (rowing)
• Steven Batchelor – Olympic gold medallist (hockey)
• Zola Budd - former South African 5000m world record holder (athletics)
Former England rugby league stars Kevin Sinfield, Jamie Peacock and Keith Senior, ex-England football internationals turned pundits Danny Mills and Stephen Warnock, and Ironman triathlete Lucy Charles complete a stellar field of sports stars.
EastEnders’ stars Stevie Basaula (Isaac Baptiste), Toby-Alexander Smith (Gray Atkins) and Tanya Franks (Rainie Cross) are swapping the streets of Walford for Greenwich as they compete to be the fastest EastEnder at this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon. They are running for Samaritans, Women’s Aid and Alzheimer’s Research UK respectively.
Former Blue Peter presenter and actor Peter Duncan will run the London Marathon for the fifth time, having previously completed it in each decade – 1981, 1991, 2001 and 2012. He is raising money for the charity Clothe Me – Thank You, a scheme which gives people in need access to vouchers redeemable in charity shops.
Other famous faces taking part on Sunday 3 October include:
• Chris Evans – Virgin Radio DJ
• Dev Griffin – Capital FM radio DJ and TV presenter running for Global’s Make Some Noise
• Dick n Dom presenting duo Richard McCourt (Alzheimer’s Research UK) and Dominic Wood (British Dyslexia Association)
• Gaz Oakley – The Avant Garde Vegan chef running for WWF
• Scummy Mummies comedy duo Helen Thorn (Women’s Aid) and Ellie Gibson (Borne)
• Saffron Barker – YouTube star and former Strictly Come Dancing contestant running for Make-A-Wish Foundation
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