London Marathon names millionth finisher

London Marathon's millionth finisher Shannon Foudy, pictured with her now 6-year-old daughter Catrin. Photo by Virgin Money London Marathon

Virgin Money London Marathon has named its millionth finisher. Shannon Foudy from Hemel Hempstead was running her first marathon on Sunday 24th April to raise money for the Luton & Dunstable Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), which saved the life of her daughter Catrin in January 2010. Foudy, a police officer, had given birth to Catrin at just 26 weeks. Weighing a tiny 2lb 5oz, Catrin battled through organ failure and a brain haemorrhage in the NICU.

Foudy said: “I knew about the #oneinamillion campaign and it’s unbelievable that I am the millionth finisher. I ran to say thank you to the Luton & Dunstable NICU and it is the most worthwhile thing I have ever done.

“Catrin, [my partner] Jamie and my mum and dad were at the 14-mile mark so I stopped there for a few cuddles. Being surrounded by so many people running for great causes was amazing.” Foudy finished the race in 5.45:18.

Hugh Brasher, Event Director of the Virgin Money London Marathon, said: “Shannon epitomises the spirit of the London Marathon. She was a novice runner inspired to take on the challenge of 26.2 miles for a very personal cause and it’s wonderful she is our millionth finisher.”

A record number of 253,930 UK applicants had registered for a ballot place in the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon when the application system closed on Friday, with just under 56% of the applications for 2017 from people who have never run a marathon and more than 43% of the total applicants were women (also a record).

“These numbers reflect the huge success of the 36th London Marathon on 24th April,” said Brasher. “One of our goals is to inspire people to take up sport and more than 142,000 people have been inspired to apply to run a marathon for the first time in 2017. 

“In 1981, less than 300 of the finishers were women. More than 110,000 women have applied to run next year and for first timers to marathon running it is virtually a 50/50 split of men and women.  

“The London Marathon has had an extraordinary impact that has helped to inspire profound social change. It is an iconic event that compels people to take up running and to raise millions for charity. The London Marathon Charitable Trust has enabled thousands more to get active through its funding of a huge range of recreational projects.”