The power produced by runners competing in the London Marathon

The London Marathon is considered one of the biggest marathon events in the world, attracting runners of all ages and abilities on one course.

From Blackheath to Greenwich, across Tower Bridge and through the Isle of Dogs, the layout of the marathon route means that spectators can move between different points to cheer on participants.

How much energy does it take to run the London Marathon?

According to Common calculations, the average runner burns around 100 kilocalories per mile.

The London Marathon is a sweaty 26.2 miles, starting near Greenwich Park and ending at St James’ Park.

This totals to 2,620 kilocalories burned throughout the marathon.

With this total, we can then work out how much power is generated by converting this figure into a unit for measuring electricity.

By converting this figure to watts and then kilowatts, 2,620 kilocalories equates to 3.045 kWh.

The power of a single runner

Using the total of 3.045 kWh, a single runner completing the marathon could power:

  • A 40W energy-saving light bulb running for 76 hours straight
  • Charge a smart phone for an entire year
  • The same amount of power a 6kW wind turbine would generate in a windy location

The power of the entire marathon

This year a record total of 253,930 people are expected to participate in the London Marathon.

If a single participant competing in the marathon uses an equivalent 3.045 kWh of energy, then the total amount of energy consumed by the entire marathon would be a mammoth 752.3 mWh.

An average house in the UK uses 4,600 kWh a year in electricity. This means the whole of the London Marathon could exert the equivalent energy needed to power 164 homes for a year.

Timings and what to expect this year:

The event will see Jemima Sumgong defend her title in the elite women’s race, while Kenenisa Bekele is among the star names in a stellar elite men’s field.

The 37th edition of the London Marathon is set to produce more Guinness World Records, and the race promises to be one of the best yet.

The marathon takes place on Sunday 23rd April, 2017, starting at Old Billingsgate at 08:40 – this consists of three-mile races for different youth categories.

The official start times for are as follows:

08:55 – London 2017 World Para Athletics Marathon World Cup in association with the Virgin Money London Marathon elite wheelchair race

09:00 – London 2017 World Para Athletics Marathon World Cup (ambulant athletes)

09:15 – Virgin Money London Marathon for Elite Women

10:00 – Elite Men and the British Athletics and England Athletics Championships for Men and Women and the Virgin Money London Marathon Mass Start

Here’s how other major events such as the Grand National and the Boat Race compare to the London Marathon in terms of power generation.


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