The London Marathon 2013 is set to start on the morning of Sunday 21 April, with double Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah headlining the event. The organisers say they expect as many as 50,000 road-side spectators for a race that drew nearly 40,000 registered runners last year.
The 2012 professional events - the Elite races - were won by the Kenyan duo of Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich (men's) and Mary Keitany (women's). In fact, the Kenyans were utterly dominant last year, with Martin Lel finishing second in the men's race and the top five places in the women's race all going to Kenyan runners.
This year, Wilson Kipsang returns to defend his title and will face Uganda's Stephen Kiprotich (gold medallist at the London Olympics 2012) and compatriot Patrick Makau, who holds the marathon world record.
The women's entry list is just as strong, with Ethiopia's Tiki Gelana (gold medallist at the London Olympics 2012), Kenyan Priscah Jeptoo (silver medallist at the London Olympics 2012) and 2011 World Champion Edna Kiplagat, also of Kenya. Incidentally, Kiplagat's personal best of 2:19.50s was set at this race last year.
Where to Watch Live
Live coverage is on BBC One and BBC One HD, starting from 8.30am BST, with highlights on BBC Two at 7pm BST. Follow the race online through the event's official Web site.
Boston Marathon Shadow
The Boston Marathon bombings raised questions over whether the London Marathon should be allowed to go ahead. However, sports minister Hugh Robertson has confirmed the event will be held as scheduled but there will be increased security for runners and spectators.
"I think this is one of those incidents where the best way to show solidarity with Boston is to continue and send a very clear message to those responsible," the minister stressed on BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
In addition, as a gesture of support, the organisers of the London Marathon will reportedly donate £2 for every runner across the finish line. And there will be a 30-second period of silence at the start of the race on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Scotland Yard has confirmed a 40 percent increase in security forces at the event. The Yard has reportedly been in contact with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Boston police officials to assess the level of possible threat to the London Marathon.
"We're in touch with the Americans all the time. At this time there is no link whatsoever between the Boston Marathon atrocities and the London Marathon on Sunday," chief superintendent Julia Pendry explained.
"The message I'd like to give to everybody is that we want you to come on Sunday, enjoy coming to watch your family and friends race, but please look after your own belongings because unattended packages will cause us to have more work to do," she added.
The Mo Farah Debate
Meanwhile, Farah created a minor controversy after announcing he would run only half the distance. The 30-year-old Somali-born British athlete is a guest of the event organisers and is in training for the summer's World Championships in Moscow.
Farah's decision has not gone down particularly well, with speculation suggesting the move was financially motivated. However, the athlete hit back at what he called "annoying" and "hurtful" comments and said his decision was taken to help him learn the course ahead of next year's marathon and also out of respect for the non-professional runners.