The Celebrities Of The 2024 London Marathon

From sports icons to TV stars, the London Marathon will have some notable faces in the sea of runners


Although the elite runners might be the stars of the show this Sunday at the 2024 London Marathon, you might still see some familiar faces among the sea of runners.

Every major marathon always has a pool of famous, non-elite runners who are taking on the iconic distance for any number of reasons, from using it for social media content to running the race after months or years of consistent training.

The London Marathon is also a major charity event in which people run to support various causes. Every year, a plethora of celebrities, from TV and movie stars to professional athletes from other sports, take part in the event to support a cause close to them.

We’ve checked the entry lists, and here are some of the biggest names you might spot in the race on Sunday.

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Sir Jim Ratcliffe

The UK’s richest man, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, is set to toe the line at the 2024 London Marathon.

First mentioned on pro cyclist Geraint Thomas’ (who rides for INEOS Grenadiers, of course) podcast, Ratcliffe talked about his past marathon experience leading into this year’s race.

“I did London last year. I did four and a half. I’m doing London again this year,” Ratcliffe said.

“I trained for London last year, and I had a hamstring issue. I was out for five weeks, and I didn’t have much time to retrain. I went to Africa, and it was quite warm, so I had a go. It was okay. Exactly the same thing has happened this year. I’ve had five weeks out with a hamstring so I only started training a week ago for London. It’s not very long. I need to get going,” he added.

Despite his rocky lead-up to the race, Ratcliffe is still banking on beating his personal best of 4 hours, 30 minutes. Not only to say he got a new PB but also to make sure he makes it to Wembley in time to catch the FA Cup semi-final for Manchester United against Coventry.

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Russel Cook: The UK’s “Hardest Geezer”

Just weeks after completing his run across the entire length of Africa, Russ Cook, better known as “Hardest Geezer,” will be taking on the 2024 London Marathon.

Cook, from West Sussex, said he planned to run the race in London despite his recent 352-day adventure to continue raising money for charity. His run across Africa has already amassed nearly £950,000 to date for two charities, the Running Charity and Sandblast.

Cook will be helping out some younger runners by pacing them to a sub-four-hour marathon.

“There are a few young people running, so I’m going to pace someone if they want to do a sub-four-hour or something. But I ain’t got a fast one in me, I won’t lie,” he said on JaackMaate’s Happy Hour podcast.

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Romesh Ranganathan

British comedian Romesh Ranganathan is making his debut at the 2024 London Marathon.

Ranganathan has been participating in the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) since October 2023 and will be running in support of the charity and its mental health helpline.

Speaking to Runners World about his preparation for the race, Ranganathan said, “Running always kicks your a***. It’s easy to take up; it’s really hard to master.”

“That’s what stand-up is like: it’s easy to start, but very difficult to get really good at. And I think that’s what running is like: every time you think you’ve cracked it, the god of running goes, ‘I’m going to give you something else to kick your a***,’” he added.

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Ruth Wilson

Actress Ruth Wilson, alongside her family members, will be taking part in the London Marathon to honor her father, who is currently living with Alzheimer’s disease and ran the inaugural London Marathon in 1981.

Back in the day, Wilson’s father ran a respectable 3:15 marathon, a time Wilson says they have “zero chances” of getting close to.

Her brothers Toby, Matt, and Sam, and her nephew Theo have been raising money in support of Alzheimer’s Research UK and have currently amassed more than £15,000.

“There’s zero chance of us getting anywhere near Dad’s time, but he will be in our hearts and driving us towards the finish line,” Wilson said to The Independent.

“While the London Marathon will be the toughest physical challenge of our lives, we’re determined to do everything we can to support Alzheimer’s Research UK and the amazing work they do.”

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Phil Dunster

Phil Dunster, known for his role as Jamie Tartt in the popular TV program Ted Lasso, is set to participate in his inaugural London Marathon in support of Young Lives vs Cancer. 

His connection to the charity runs deep, sparked by his cousin’s son, Rory, who battled a brain tumor from the tender age of four months. 

Throughout Rory’s journey, the charity provided invaluable assistance to the family, offering both practical aid and emotional support. Even after Rory’s passing, they continued to extend their support.

Dunster said to TCS London Marathon: “I’m equal parts excited and terrified…that I’ll be running the London Marathon this year. I want to raise as much as I can to help Young Lives vs Cancer social workers be there for more children like Rory and their parents.”  

“Their amazing social workers are there from the moment of diagnosis to make sure children and young people with cancer and their families get the right care and support at the right time. But they don’t get any government funding, so it’s up to people like us to make sure they can carry on doing what they do. So that’s why I’m taking on this absolutely epic (and rather mad) challenge.” 

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Emma Barton and Jamie Borthwick

Also, at the start of the 2024 London Marathon, EastEnders stars Emma Barton and Jamie Borthwick will be there. 

This marks their second participation in the London Marathon, albeit with a unique twist. 

In a special episode of the beloved London-based soap, they will embody their characters, Honey and Jay, as they run the 2024 TCS London Marathon. The storyline pays homage to Jay’s late wife, Lola, who tragically died from a brain tumor in a storyline from 2023.

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Jessy has been active her whole life, competing in cross-country, track running, and soccer throughout her undergrad. She pivoted to road cycling after completing her Bachelor of Kinesiology with Nutrition from Acadia University. Jessy is currently a professional road cyclist living and training in Spain.

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