London marathoner drinks wine glass at every mile in viral challenge

‘It’s my first experience of this going absolutely mad and I feel very honoured,’ runner says

Olivia Hebert
Los Angeles
Wednesday 24 April 2024 01:31 BST
Moment last runner crosses London Marathon finish line

A runner took on the challenge of drinking a wine glass at each mile throughout the London Marathon.

In a TikTok challenge that has since gone viral, wine connoisseur Tom Gilbey - also known as “the wine guy” - reportedly sampled 25 glasses of wine throughout the marathon. He was captured guessing each wine glass’s grape variety, country of origin, and vintage at each mile stop.

At about 9.30am, Gilbey partook in his first sip soon after the race began. He was able to surpass his fundraising target, he had aimed to raise £2,000 for Sobell House hospice charity in Oxford, to honour his late mother who had spent her final days there.

On his JustGiving page, Gilbey wrote that he was participating in the London Marathon “to raise money for the wonderful team at Sobell House hospice, who nursed and cared for my dear Mum in her last few days.” He added that he hoped to “not die doing it” and planned on doing right by her.

After completing the race in four hours and 41 minutes - including his periodic stops drinking wine - Gilbey’s fundraiser ultimately passed £13,000, making it a rousing success. He told the Guardian, “It’s my first experience of this going absolutely mad and I feel very honoured.”

He added that the marathon went “really well” and noted that the taste of wine after each mile motivated him to keep going. The wine in the glasses ranged from random bottles bought at gas stations, mini bottles, and canned wine as well as a £40 Barolo.

“It’s just incredible and it’s great because that’s what it’s all about,” he said. “It’s for a great charity and they’re one of many hospices that just work their socks off to make massive differences.”

He continued, “It was hilarious because when you’re overtaken by a fridge and double-humped camel, you could get really depressed unless you knew there was a nice wine around the corner with some friendly faces to support you.”

Gilbey - a wine merchant by trade who hosts events and runs a business - noted that when tasting wine, he takes small sips of wine or spits it out after tasting so he doesn’t get tipsy.

“If they were good, I might swallow it and if they were bad, they went on the road,” he said. “I think the pain of the running allowed me to not feel anything other than the urge to finish. I think it’s a great way to stay sober.”

He told the outlet that he planned on celebrating with a glass of champagne.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in