Opinion: Focus on ... London Marathon

The marathon's official charity this year is Help the Hospices, which hopes to raise over £1m. Donations will be used to develop its national Care for the Carers initiative.

- A survey revealed that runners raised £31m in 2002

- Each year, charities share 10,000 golden bonds, which are guaranteed places bought from the organisers and held for their main fundraisers

- This year's celebrity fundraisers include the Cheeky Girls, who will be running in support of ChildLine and DebRA

- Since its creation in 1981, the marathon's charitable trust has donated a total of £16m from the day's events.

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