London Marathon: Mo Farah committed to running race and amateurs expects to follow suit

Race through the streets of the capital takes place this Sunday

The first of the 37,500 runners expected to take part in the London Marathon will begin registering for Sunday’s race tomorrow morning after organisers received the full backing of the Metropolitan Police and other authorities for the race to go ahead as planned following a security review.

The organisers have insisted since Monday’s explosions in Boston that left three people dead and more than 100 injured that the London race would take place. After meeting with the police and other city officials, and being given the green light, Nick Bitel, the London Marathon’s chief executive, sought to reassure participants that they will be safe. The organisers do not expect any withdrawals from among the high-class elite field – the Olympic champion Stephen Kiprotich, defending champion Wilson Kipsang and world record-holder Patrick Makau are all scheduled to run, as is the women’s  Olympic champion Tiki Gelana  – and nor do they expect to see large numbers of amateur runners pulling out. Likewise Mo Farah, who will run half the race, remains fully committed to taking part.

“The support we have been offered by our stakeholders and the wider running community has been outstanding. We have the full support of the Metropolitan Police, the mayor's office and other authorities,” said Bitel. “We want to reassure our runners, spectators, volunteers and everyone connected with the event, that we are doing everything to ensure their safety and that the London Marathon is an outstanding success.”

Policing the 26-mile course around the capital’s streets, with around 500,000 spectators expected to watch the race, is a huge logistical challenge for the Metropolitan Police, although one they are well versed in. As well as previous London Marathons, the Met oversaw last summer’s Olympic marathon. The police and organisers will have further meetings this week following Tuesday’s review. Extra security is likely to be put in place, according to Boris Johnson, the London mayor.

“To have 100 per cent security is very, very difficult if not near impossible," said Helmut Spahn of the International Centre for Sport Security and the man in charge of security for the 2006 World Cup in Germany. “More police, more military is not always the best solution.”

A statement from the race organisers said: “We have reviewed and will continue to review our security arrangements with the Metropolitan Police and other authorities. We are being fully supported in all aspects of the event to safeguard our runners, spectators, volunteers and staff.”

Hugh Robertson, the Sports Minister, gave determined backing to the race going ahead, saying he remains “absolutely confident” that runners and spectators can be kept safe. He said: “The best way for us to react is to push ahead with the marathon, to get people on the streets and to celebrate it as we always do in London - and to send a very clear message that we won't be cowered by this sort of behaviour.

“Sadly, we live with this on day-by-day basis in this country. There has been a terrorism threat every day of my adult life here in London – first through Republicanism then through international terrorism. There are major events in London – if not quite on a daily basis, certainly on a weekly basis. As the minister responsible on a day-to-day basis at the London 2012 Olympics, we lived through this for the past year. I was privileged enough to see the Metropolitan Police, the armed forces, security services and our special forces working on this. I saw them close up - that gives you enormous confidence.”

Robertson also suggested the race should go ahead to “show solidarity with Boston”. He added: “These are balance of judgements but we are absolutely confident here that we can keep the event safe and secure. I think this is one of those incidents where the best way to show solidarity with Boston is to continue and send a very clear message to those responsible.”

There are growing moves via social media for runners to cross the finish line with “hands over hearts” in a symbol of solidarity.

More on this story...

Brits in Boston urged to let family and friends know they're safe

Pakistan Taliban deny involvement with Boston explosions

Eight-year-old reported among three dead after twin explosions strike Boston Marathon

US will hold whoever carried out Boston explosions accountable, says President Obama

Video: The Boston explosions as they happened

Image of terror: 78-year-old runner knocked over by second Boston Marathon blast

British police 'reviewing security plans' for London Marathon in aftermath of Boston Marathon bombing that left three dead

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive or Senior Sales Executive - B2B Exhibitions

£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...

Recruitment Genius: Head of Support Services

£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Team Leader

£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £40,000

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory