The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry launched the 2017 London Marathon this morning, when they pushed the big red button together, starting the men’s elite race. The royal trio were there having spearheaded the Heads Together campaign, the chosen charity of the race this year.
William, Catherine and Harry have worked hard in the lead-up to the Marathon to publicise their chosen charity, Heads Together, which unites organisations across the UK to help those struggling with mental health problems.
Before the race, the Duke, Duchess and Prince – looking casual in black Heads Together jackets – met some of the runners raising money for mental health charities on Blackheath Common.
Three of the people that the trio met were Pippa Creasy and her two grown children who ran in support of CALM, a Heads Together-partnered charity which tries to prevent male suicide; Pippa’s husband committed suicide four years ago.
Prince William wished Pippa good luck, before asking: “How’s the adrenaline going?”
William then joked “When we were driving in here we saw people sprinting up and down, that’s surely not a good tactic.”
The Duchess sported large foam hand to help cheer on those racing
Throughout the race, the Royals were spotted in the crowds cheering on the 40,382 runners, many of whom are running for mental and physical health charities. All runners, however, were given a blue headband for the campaign.
Helping motivate runners, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry gave out high-fives and bottles of water at various points along the 26 mile route, with many runners only noticing who they were after they had run past. Some came back for selfies though!
Commenting on the Royals’ potential participation in the marathon, Prince Harry said: “Yes I think all three of us were tempted, but it was probably safer and easier for us not to and to try and do our best to lead the campaign and let the focus be on the Heads Together runners, which was 200 and is now 700.”
Gabbi Logan commented during the BBC’s coverage of the race, “Today it’s okay to have a sweaty brow when you’re meeting the future King of England.”
Plenty of runners stopped to grab a quick, sweaty, hug with the Royals, spurring them on to finish.
Later, William, Kate and Harry handed out a selection of medals to the runners at the finish line, shaking hands and offering a few congratulatory words.
Prince Harry, as patron of the London Marathon Charitable Trust, also awarded veteran BBC sports commentator, olympian, and founder of the Great North Run, Brendan Foster, the lifetime achievement award commemorating his involvement in his 37th and final London Marathon race before his retirement.