London: Runners at the London Marathon have raised almost half a billion dollars for charity in the last five years and continue to break fundraising records each year, sponsors Virgin Money announced on Wednesday.
The total raised for charity since the company took over as title sponsors of the annual 26.2 mile race in 2010 stands at 264.1 million pounds ($430.96 million), exceeding Virgin`s own ambitious target.
Runners in this year`s race around London`s icon-laden streets raised 53.2 million pounds for good causes, meaning the marathon broke the Guinness World Record for the largest annual single-day charity fundraising event for the eighth consecutive year.
"When Virgin first got involved with the London Marathon we set the bar high and challenged runners to not only complete their 26 miles, but within five years also help raise 1/4 billion pounds for good causes," Virgin founder Richard Branson said in a statement.
"Today`s news shows that not only have we all risen to that challenge, but during the 2014 Virgin Money London Marathon we smashed right through it."
Since the race began in 1981, over 920,000 runners have completed the course, raising more than 716 million pounds for a plethora of charitable causes.
Over 35,000 people finished the 2014 London Marathon, with 77 percent of those running to raise money for good causes, an increase from the previous year.
The 2015 London Marathon takes place on April. 25 and the race`s official charity of the year is Cancer Research UK.