A record number of people are expected to finish the London Marathon on Sunday, organisers have said.
Some 49,675 runners registered for this year’s race, up from the previous record of 43,199 in 2019.
Around 48,000 people are expected to cross the finish line near Buckingham Palace later on Sunday, as each year a portion drop out due to illness, injury and life events.
TCS London Marathon organisers said they expanded numbers in an attempt to reach a cap of 50,000.
Despite forecasters predicting heavy rain from 7am, the weather was dry for the start of the elite and mass participation races with light drizzle later in the morning.
Runners set off beneath overcast skies amid temperatures of around 8C (46.4F).
The Met Office has warned there is likely to be heavier rain later in the day.
The Kenyan holds the fastest women’s marathon time of 2:14:04.
Sifan Hassan, an Ethiopian-born Dutch athlete, took first place – a surprise win after she fell back at the 15-mile mark clutching her hip, and given it was her debut marathon.
The 30-year-old finished with a time of 2:18.33.
The 23-year-old missed out on Eliud Kipchoge’s world record by just 18 seconds.
Britain’s first finisher in the men’s race, Emile Cairess, came sixth on his marathon debut while fellow GB athlete and junior doctor Philip Sesemann placed eighth.
Sir Mo Farah, 40, who was competing at marathon level for the final time, finished just behind at ninth with a time of 2:10.28.
Record-holder Kipchoge, 38, from Kenya, is not competing this year but was the official starter for the elite men’s race and the mass participation event.
Amateur runners began the 26.2-mile route from Greenwich Park at 10am, and they will loop past London landmarks including Tower Bridge and Trafalgar Square before finishing on The Mall.
Meanwhile, up to 50,000 Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists have gathered on the streets nearby for the third day of a protest dubbed “The Big One”.
Members of the climate group have said they are co-ordinating with the race’s organisers and they do not plan to disrupt it, though spectators have been warned to avoid Parliament Square.