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The London Marathon

Aprile 2005
E’ un’esperienza unica per i corridori, ma anche uno spettacolo straordinario per chi vi assiste. Parte il 17 aprile l’edizione 2005 della maratona di Londra.

di John Rigg

File audio:

The London Marathon
The London Marathon

Speaker: Justin Ratcliffe (Standard British accent)

This year’s London Marathon takes place on Sunday, April 17th. Usually it is a day of madness and excitement. It’s known as “the fun run,” and last year over 30,000 people were happy to run the 26 miles – or 42 kilometres – in the rain. If you are a world champion, you run to win. The greatest marathon runners on the planet take part each year. In 2002 the Moroccan-born American, Khalid Kannouchi, won in 2 hours, 5 minutes and 38 seconds, and set a new world record. This year he will compete against the Kenyan Evan Rutto, who won in 2004, and other top athletes, including Hendrik Ramaala, Haile Gebrselassie and Olympic champion Stefano Baldini.

Ordinary people


Less famous athletes race for three reasons: a passion for running, fund-raising for charities (last year over £30 million was collected), or else just for fun. You must qualify and register to run in the race. There are three ways of doing this. You get an automatic place if you have finished a marathon in under 2 hours 45 minutes, or if you run for an athletics club. The third way is to become a “charity runner.” Charity organisations buy places and give them to runners on condition that they raise a minimum sum, between £500 and £2,000. The charities organise training for these runners, they help them raise the cash and they support them during the race. The runners often dress in crazy costumes. Last year there were two giant bananas, a telephone box, a fire engine, a waiter with a glass of water on a tray (he drank the water when he finally crossed the finishing line) and three rhinoceroses. The three “rhinos” lasted for most of the race and nearly stopped on many occasions, but painkillers and supporters kept them going. William “Rhino” Jones remembers the end of the race: “I couldn’t go on. Then I saw my wife and daughter in the crowd. They were waving. Suddenly the Rhinos were running hand in hand to cross the finishing line!”

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fundraising for charities - raccolta di fondi per associa­zioni di beneficenza.

raise the cash - raccogliere i fondi.

crazy costumes - costumi bizzarri.

fire engine - autopompa.

tray - vassoio.

rhinoceroses - rinoceronti.

painkillers - antidolorifici.

they were waving - mi salutavano con la mano.