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Queen to launch London Marathon from Windsor

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London (AFP)

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II will be the official starter for this year's London Marathon for the first time in the event's history, organisers announced on Friday.

The Queen will step onto a special podium in the grounds of Windsor Castle, west of the British capital, to push the start button at 10:00 am (0900 GMT) on April 22.

Live coverage of the starting ceremony will be shown on big screens to set off 40,000 runners on the 26.2-mile (42.195-kilometre) course from Blackheath to The Mall.

"We are deeply honoured that Her Majesty The Queen has accepted the invitation to start the 2018 London Marathon,? said John Spurling, chairman of race organisers London Marathon Events.

"Especially as this will happen 110 years after the 1908 Olympic Marathon was started at Windsor Castle by the then Princess Mary, grandmother to the Queen.?

The 1908 marathon, the showpiece finale of the London Olympic Games, was the first marathon to be held over the classic 26.2-mile distance.

The London Marathon was first held in 1981.

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