Brasher looks back on the first London Marathon in 1981 and ahead to this year’s event on Sunday featuring the “greatest ever line-up” of male and female athletes

Virgin Money London Marathon race director Hugh Brasher has reflected on the “unique and special” journey that the London Marathon has taken over the last 35 years.

From less than 7000 finishers at the inaugural London Marathon in 1981 to a record 37,000 predicted to finish this year, Brasher discusses this “most incredible event”.

The first London Marathon winners – Dick Beardsley, Inge Simonsen and Joyce Smith – are to return to the British capital this weekend to act as official starters of the 35th race.

“I’m absolutely certain London will show what a great job it does of putting on an event, how much we love seeing athletics and how much we love seeing sport,” commented Brasher.

» Video via Virgin Money London Marathon

» See the April 23 edition of Athletics Weekly magazine for an in-depth look ahead to this year’s London Marathon