London Marathon weather forecast: Met Office predicts strong winds and heavy rains

‘Conditions will be cold for spectators, but competitors may appreciate the lower temperatures’


Katie O'Malley
Friday 26 April 2019 10:40 BST
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Sir Andy Murray might be firing the starting gun at this year’s London Marathon, but the landscape will be a far more dreary affair than the sun-coated tennis lawns of Wimbledon in recent years.

Contrary to last year’s marathon in the capital, which was officially the hottest on record, runners at this year’s race will experience a stark contrast when it comes to the weather, with the Met Office forecasting strong winds and heavy rains.

Ahead of the marathon on Sunday 28 April, Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge tells The Independent that the mercury is expected to hover around 15C on the day, but “could dip lower during heavy showers”.

“The conditions this weekend represent a marked contrast to those over the Easter Weekend,” he says.

“This weekend we will see strong winds and heavy rain dominate the weather across southern Britain, including parts of the south east. Some of the showers could be heavy."

However, it’s not all doom and gloom for the 42,000 runners as they take on the gruelling 26.2-mile race.

“Conditions will be cold for spectators, but competitors may appreciate the lower temperatures,” Madge adds.

To face the mild weather conditions this weekend, the event’s organisers advise runners to consider wearing some lightweight cover-up clothing, such as a long sleeve T-shirt or a three-quarter-length sleeved top.

“Unseasonably cold weather should make faster runners consider slightly warmer layers whilst the slower participants should consider tights and lightweight jackets that can be zipped and unzipped en route,” reads information on the official Virgin Money Marathon website.

Ahead of last year’s race, which saw temperatures rise to 23.2C, race organisers advised competitors to drop their goal times and added more ice, water and run-through shower stations along the race course.

Runners cross the Rive Thames via Tower Bridge during the Virgin London Marathon 2016 on April 24, 2016 in London, England.

Runners were also warned to eschew any plans to run in fancy dress in the wake of the climbing temperatures.

Marathon director Hugh Brasher said entrants were reminded of the advice to reduce their run goal times and stay hydrated in the lead up to the event.

“We have reminded them that they should adjust their goal for Sunday and plan to run at a slower pace and, if they were planning to run in fancy dress, they should think carefully if that is appropriate in these conditions,” Brasher said ahead of the race.

“There is plenty of water available and runners should drink according to their thirst and use spare water to douse their head and neck.”

In November, Great Britain's four-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Mo Farah confirmed he will be competing at this weekend’s London Marathon.

Farah finished third in last year's event in London but went onto win his first major marathon title by claiming victory in Chicago in a European record time.

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