The cost was over £150,000.
Virgin London Marathon race director Dave Bedford announced the event has spent over £150,000 to insure the elite field is able to make it to London regardless of European travel woes. Europe, and London in particular, has been virtually grounded due to the volcanic eruption in Iceland, causing many elites to grow weary of ever making it in time for the race.
In order to get the get the athletes in on time Bedford has charted airplanes through Spain and other countries. Many of the athletes will arrive in the next day and the goal is to have the entire elite field there before the start of the race on Sunday.
“I don’t think we’ve ever hired a jet before,” said Bedford. “But in the end I think it was pretty good value for money. You can’t put on an event without a contingency fund and the amount we spent is well within that. For us, it’s about maintaining the quality of the event rather than bean counting.
“What was amazing is that whenever we asked for support people helped us where they could because they have such great affection for the event. It’s easy to forget the challenges we’ve faced in previous years but it’s safe to say early in the week we felt pretty challenged. Now I feel proud that we’ve been able to deliver such great elite fields once again.”
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