Dame Kelly Holmes, Olympic gold medallist in the 800m and 1500m, to be Official Starter for the elite men’s race and the masses at 2024 TCS London Marathon
—- Two running icons have been named as official starters of the elite races at Sunday’s [21 April] TCS London Marathon. Jasmin Paris, the first woman to complete the ultra-endurance Barkley Marathons, will start the elite women’s race on Sunday which gets under way at 09:25, before Dame Kelly Holmes, who 20 years ago won a brace of gold medals at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, starts the elite men’s race and masses at 10:00. Paris made history last month when she became the first woman to complete the Barkley Marathons, an ultramarathon trail race held in Tennessee, USA, which requires participants to complete 100 miles in a 60-hour period.  Paris, who is co-founder of the environmental run group Green Runners, will start the elite women’s race, which features three of the four fastest women in history – including world record holder Tigst Assefa (ETH). The athletes will be targeting a new women’s only world record, which currently stands at 2:17:01. Paris 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.” The men’s elite race and the mass event set off at 10:00 and will be started by Dame Kelly. It’s 20 years since she completed a historic middle-distance double at the Athens Olympics, winning gold medals in both the 800m and 1500m. Dame Kelly said: “It’s a privilege to be one of the official starters of the 2024 TCS London Marathon. I’ve run the London Marathon once before and it was a tough but wonderful challenge.  “I know the commitment it takes to get to the Start Line, so I have huge admiration for all the participants taking part this year. I hope everyone has a fantastic day on Sunday and we see some competitive elite races as well as all the amazing people doing it for their charities and loved ones. I’ll be cheering you all on!” The Start Line of the elite men’s race will include Kenenisa Bekele, the third fastest marathon runner in history, reigning TCS New York City Marathon champion Tamirat Tola, and British star Emile Cairess. Previous starters of the TCS London Marathon include Queen Elizabeth II, the Prince and Princess of Wales with the Duke of Sussex, Sir Andy Murray, Lionesses Leah Williamson OBE, Jill Scott MBE and Ellen White MBE, Sir Steve Redgrave, and former London Marathon champions. Official starters for the wheelchair races will be announced in the coming days. ENDS 
Notes to EditorsAbout the London MarathonThe 2024 TCS London Marathon will take place on Sunday 21 April 2024.The London Marathon was first held on 29 March 1981 and the millionth finisher in the history of the event crossed the line in 2016.Since the first London Marathon in 1981, the event has raised more than £1.1 billion for charity.The 2024 TCS London Marathon Official Charity of the Year is Samaritans.London Marathon Events gifts its surplus each year to the London Marathon Foundation (the operating name of The London Marathon Charitable Trust, a registered charity (283813) and a company limited by guarantee registered in England & Wales (01550741), registered office: 190 Great Dover Street, London, SE1 4YB).Since 1981, the London Marathon Foundation has awarded £105 million to more than 1,690 projects that inspire activity in London and across the UK.For more information, visit tcslondonmarathon.comThe TCS London Marathon App, powered by Tata Consultancy Services, is available to download from stores now.About Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)Tata Consultancy Services is an IT services, consulting and business solutions organization that has been partnering with many of the world’s largest businesses in their transformation journeys for over 55 years. Its consulting-led, cognitive powered, portfolio of business, technology and engineering services and solutions is delivered through its unique Location Independent Agile™ delivery model, recognized as a benchmark of excellence in software development.A part of the Tata group, India’s largest multinational business group, TCS has over 608,000 of the world’s best-trained consultants in 55 countries. The company generated consolidated revenues of US $27.9 billion in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2023, and is listed on the BSE and the NSE in India. TCS’ proactive stance on climate change and award-winning work with communities across the world have earned it a place in leading sustainability indices such as the MSCI Global Sustainability Index and the FTSE4Good Emerging Index. For more information, visit www.tcs.comFor further information, please contact:Lianne Hogan | Communications Manager | London Marathon Events Ltde | m +44 (0) 7921 465111