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RUN247 / Running News / Trail Running News / Jasmin Paris to start London Marathon – and ‘Hardest Geezer’ exploits also honoured

Jasmin Paris to start London Marathon – and ‘Hardest Geezer’ exploits also honoured

Jonathan Turner
News Director
Updated on
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Jasmin Paris, the first woman to finish the infamous Barkley Marathons, will be the official starter of the elite women’s race at this weekend’s TCS London Marathon.

And fellow Brit Russ Cook, aka the ‘Hardest Geezer’, who recently made headlines of his own by running the entire length of Africa, will help pace some of The Running Charity’s younger runners through their first marathon.

It’s another sign of the inspiring nature of what Paris and Cook have achieved that they will be recognised in this way at the world’s most famous marathon.

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Record breaker

Paris made history in March when she became the first woman to complete the Barkley Marathons in Tennessee, which covers 100 miles in a 60-hour period over gnarly terrain and includes the equivalent elevation of climbing Mount Everest twice.

The reaction from around the globe saw her go mainstream – from the main BBC News in the UK to the New York Times in the USA, with the hashtag #smalleuropeanwoman – a nod to the cryptic Barkley Marathons coverage – trending worldwide on X / Twitter.

She is also a co-founder of the environmental run group Green Runners and will start the elite women’s race in London at 09:25 local time.

The line up features three of the four fastest women in history – including world record holder Tigst Assefa of Ethiopia – so the women’s-only world record of 2:17:01 could be under threat.

Paris, quoted on the London Marathon’s website, said: “It’s a great honour to have been asked to start the women’s race at the TCS London Marathon. I’m excited to see some of the best marathon runners in the world take on the London Marathon this weekend – maybe we will even see a world record!

“I’ve watched the London Marathon for many years and have been inspired by the thousands of people who take part every year, all of whom have their own stories of triumph playing out on the day.

“It’s been a fantastic couple of months for me personally, and I’m looking forward to celebrating by cheering everyone on this weekend.”

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Inspiring others

And the ‘Hardest Geezer’ Cook will “putting in some more ferocious ones and twos on the streets of the capital” following his landmark 352-day journey from the southern-most point of South Africa to the northern tip in Tunisia.

Meanwhile Dame Kelly Holmes, who 20 years ago won a brace of gold medals at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, will start the elite men’s race and masses at 10:00.

Jonathan Turner
Written by
Jonathan Turner
Jonathan Turner is News Director for both TRI247 and RUN247, and is accustomed to big-name interviews, breaking news stories and providing unrivalled coverage for endurance sports.  

THE SBRX Show

In episode 1 of our new SBRX Show we sit down with ultra runners and coaches Kim and Jayson Cavill to get their take on the Barkley Marathons and triathlon & trail running gear reviews, training tips and more

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