London Marathon director urges protesters to avoid event as 'people running for Palestine and Israel'

More than 50,000 people are set to finish the race (PA )
More than 50,000 people are set to finish the race (PA )

The London Marathon director has told potential protesters it is “not a good idea” to disrupt the event.

More than 50,000 people are expected to finish the annual race on Sunday and organiser Hugh Brasher wants to warn demonstrators away from it, specifically amid “tensions in the Middle East”.

He argued that there are people running for both Palestinians and Israelis that have been affected by Hamas October 7 attack and Israel’s war in Gaza.

Mr Brasher said: “What we’ve always tried to do is bring people together. Coexistence and togetherness is what the London Marathon is all about.

“And we hope that message will resonate with anyone who thinks it is a good thing to disrupt the race, because it isn’t.”

The London Marathon has faced threats from protesters before, including Just Stop Oil, Extinction Rebellion and the Tamil Tigers.

Multiple security measures will be in place this weekend, Mr Brasher has said.

He went on to say the London Marathon is a “force for good”, with this year’s event set to bring in more than £66.4 million.

This was the amount raised in 2019, which currently holds the single-day record for charity fundraising in the UK.

More than £30 million has been donated to 18,000 London Marathon runners via the JustGiving fundraising platform.

The amount is on course to break 2019’s record, it has been predicted.

The £30 million is 20% more than the amount raised by London Marathon fundraisers on the platform this time last year.

The most common types of charities that people are running for on JustGiving relate to cancer, heart disease, mental health, Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Last year, ahead of the race, a total of £39 million was raised by London Marathon participants on the fundraising site, with £4 million donated after the event.

Pascale Harvie, president and general manager of JustGiving, said: “Every year I’m amazed by the commitment shown by thousands of dedicated individuals fundraising for this incredible event.

“An astonishing amount of money has already been raised for almost 1,700 charities on JustGiving and we expect this to continue to rise in the run up to race day.”