Thousands of runners take on this year’s London Marathon

Runners make their way over the start line during the 2016 Virgin Money London Marathon. Adam Davy/P

Runners make their way over the start line during the 2016 Virgin Money London Marathon. Adam Davy/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Thousands of people competed in the London marathon on Sunday after a countdown from space by astronaut and competitor Tim Peake.

Organisers said more than 39,000 people were due at the start line for the 36th London marathon, which will see its one millionth competitor cross the finish line on Sunday.

British astronaut Tim Peake may have been miles away but he claimed a new Guinness World Records title for the fastest marathon in orbit.

The spaceman, who ran the marathon while strapped to a treadmill 400km above earth on board the International Space Station, completed it in three hours and 35 minutes, just minutes behind Dame Kelly's finish time of three hours and 11 minutes.

Major Peake had sent a good luck video message to racegoers as they set off on a chilly but bright day, with supporters lining the capital's streets.

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In the elite men's race Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge successfully defended his 2015 title, completing the course in a record time, while fellow Kenyan Jemima Sumgong won the elite women's race.

Maj Peake was one of scores of entrants attempting to break Guinness World Records this year as fun runners took part in an event that attracts elite athletes and fundraisers alike.

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There are 70 years between the oldest and youngest runners in this year's race.

Race veteran Iva Barr, 88, from Bedford is running her 20th London Marathon, while Rebecca Manners from Manningtree in Essex is celebrating her 18th birthday by running the route alongside her parents.

The marathon's chosen charity for next year was announced on Sunday as competitors set off.

Heads Together, which will take over from the NSPCC, is made up of a team of mental health charities which have been brought together by The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, who is patron of the London Marathon Charitable Trust.

Runners set off from Blackheath and Greenwich Park, running a route lined with supporters, and finish on The Mall.

•Are you running the London Marathon today? Email with your stories of the day.

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