Marathon runner who works full time with cancer patients and only took up sport three years ago collapses on finish line as she captures nation's hearts

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All eyes were also on British Olympic champion Mo Farah, who finished fifth with a time of 02:05:39, behind Kenyan winner and marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge, who crossed the line in 02:02:37.

Sir Mo, 36, said after the race he “felt good” mid-way through the course but could not match “incredible” Kipchoge, 34.

He also insisted his widely-publicised spat with Ethiopian Olympian Haile Gebrselassie did not affect his run.

“I didn’t think the fuss affected my run and I wasn’t distracted by the build-up, it was all about London today and so I put my head down, did my best,” he said.

Prince Harry delighted volunteers and race winners by making a surprise appearance at the Marathon, leaving his heavily-pregnant wife Meghan Markle in Windsor.

Royal fans took this to mean that the baby was not due that day, as otherwise the Duke of Sussex would not have left her side.

The Duke of Sussex was seen laughing and joking as he presented medals to early  Marathon finishers.

It is believed he always planned to go, but did not publicly commit to the event as it was so close to his wife’s due date.

He has previously attended the event for the mental health charity Heads Together, along with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

The marathon was not only a success for those runners who achieved their personal bests; it also brought good news for the organisers as the total amount raised for charity by the long-running event finally reached £1 billion during its 39th race.

The Virgin Money London Marathon Charity of the Year 2019 was Dementia Revolution, a partnership between the Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Their £3.5 million fundraising target was bolstered by a team running for Dame Barbara Windsor, 81, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014.

Her husband, Scott Mitchell, and a team of EastEnders cast members including Adam Woodyatt, who plays Ian Beale, had raised £100,000 before the race started.

Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, said it was an “amazing marathon” as he hinted he might run next year.

“It’s been beautifully organised and it’s so amazing to have raised the big £1 billion,” he said.

The marathon is the country’s largest annual fundraiser and a ballot of 444,168 applicants was narrowed down to 56,398 who were given a place.



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