Marathon record grows to £1.25m

A London Marathon runner claims to have broken the Guinness World Record for the most sponsorship money raised by an individual in the event.

Steve Chalke, founder of the Oasis Trust, raised £1.25m by running on Sunday, beating the previous record, £1.13m, held by John Spurling since 1999.

But Opal Telecom executive Andrew Wessels, who also attempted to break the record, managed to raise only £100,000.

Wessels said fundraising had been made harder because of the "plethora of charities tugging at corporate purse strings". He said donations of £10,000 had mainly come from corporate contacts, while others either sent £1,000 or said they had used up any discretionary funds on the tsunami appeal.

Help the Hospices, the marathon's official charity, hopes to raise £1m from the 1,500 runners who ran on its behalf. It is expecting an extra £1m from the Tubney Charitable Trust, which offered to match the total.

"It was a huge day for us," said Sam Rider, head of national campaigns at Help the Hospices. "We only had three runners last year."

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