A record number of people are taking part in the London Marathon in what has been billed as its most inclusive year yet.

More than 50,000 people are running the 26.2-mile course through the capital on what is a dry and bright day with highs of 12C expected.

Runners of all ages aiming to complete the route for charity poured through the start line from 10am on Sunday, some in costumes.

Romesh Ranganathan and Joel Dommett speak to BBC Sport during the TCS London Marathon
Romesh Ranganathan and Joel Dommett speak to BBC Sport during the TCS London Marathon (Zac Goodwin/PA)

Famous faces taking part include comedian and TV presenter Romesh Ranganathan, who is running for suicide prevention charity Campaign Against Living Miserably the day after starting his new Radio 2 Saturday morning show.

Fellow comedian Joel Dommett is running in the Piranha costume first worn by this year’s Masked Singer winner, McFly’s Danny Jones.

Jones’s bandmate Harry Judd is taking part this year.

Speaking to the BBC while running, Judd said: “The atmosphere is amazing.

“The crowds are out in their thousands, and loads of amazing runners have charities donned on their T-shirts.”

“I would say these are pretty good conditions for those elite athletes, which I am not one of,” he added.

“It’s not too cool nor too windy.”

“Hardest Geezer” Russ Cook, who finished running the entire length of Africa on April 7, is running in support of the Running Charity.

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‘Hardest Geezer’ Russ Cook leaves the start of the London Marathon (Zac Goodwin/PA)

Also among the runners are 20 MPs and peers, the most in the event’s history, including Chancellor Jeremy Hunt.

Former ranger David McNab is attempting to run the fastest marathon in a rhino costume to raise awareness for the animals. The current rhino record stands at four hours, six minutes.

“I worked as a ranger in South Africa for a long time so I know the trouble that rhinos are in,” he told the PA news agency.

“They need all of the help they can get, and it’s a really cool thing to do, I think.

“(The costume) is about 10kg and it’s a little bit uncomfortable. It’s going to be a big challenge, but that’s part of it.”

In the elite races, Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir, from Kenya, beat the women’s-only world record to win in two hours, 16 minutes and 16 seconds.

The men’s race was won by fellow Kenyan Alexander Munyao in two hours and four minutes, ahead of 41-year-old track great Kenenisa Bekele.

Switzerland’s Marcel Hug won the men’s wheelchair race for the fourth year in a row, with a time of one hour, 28 minutes and 38 seconds, while Catherine Debrunner, also Swiss, won the women’s wheelchair race with a time of one hour, 38 minutes and 52 seconds.

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Catherine Debrunner after winning the women’s wheelchair race during the TCS London Marathon (John Walton/PA)

This year’s race is the first time that wheelchair and non-disabled athletes have received the same prize money for a marathon.

All four winners of the elite races will receive £44,000, with the runner-up receiving £24,000 and third place £18,000.

Britain’s David Weir, who came in third place, previously said he had not expected the change to happen in his lifetime.

Event director Hugh Brasher said the event will be “more inclusive than before” with support for more than 200 disabled participants as well as a faith space and a quiet space for neurodivergent participants in the finish area.

There are female urinals, sanitary products available for anyone who needs them, and a family support area which includes a private breastfeeding area.

There were 30 seconds of applause before the race in memory of last year’s elite men’s race winner Kelvin Kiptum, who died in a car accident in February at the age of 24.

Masses crossing Tower Bridge during the TCS London Marathon
Masses crossing Tower Bridge during the TCS London Marathon (Aaron Chown/PA)

He set a new London Marathon record of two hours, one minute and 25 seconds last year with his third win, and set a new world record of two hours and 35 seconds in Chicago in October.

The 2023 marathon, the world’s biggest annual one-day fundraising event, raised £63 million for thousands of charities.