THE BOOK OF LISTS: The 10 Fastest London Marathon times

1. Paul Miles, art director, BBH (3hrs:1min:20secs)

Has run the London Marathon seven times, aiming for under three hours. A quick toilet stop added a pesky minute to this year's almost perfect time and means he won't be hanging up those running shoes just yet.

2. Chris Hunton, chief executive, McCann-Erickson London (3hrs:30mins)

Has been running marathons for 22 years and, in his prime, he ran a time of just under three hours. This year was "bloody hard" but surely it couldn't get any worse than his 2000 London Marathon. In this six-hour nightmare, he took account handling beyond the call of duty, running strapped to his Cheerios client, attired in a cardboard Cheerios-branded Mini Cooper.

3. Tim Ashton, founder, Antidote (3hrs:32mins)

Describes the pain of running a marathon as the closest thing to childbirth. This was his third run and 2004 will most definitely be his last, he claims.

4. Martin Hummel, international services director, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO (3hrs:38mins:17secs)

Has run nine marathons and gets a hefty pat on the back for raising around £35,000 for the agency charity, Big House. "The greatest kick I get from all this is leaving people half my age eating dust," he says.

5. Neil Hourston, head of planning, TBWA\GGT (3hrs:38mins:35secs)

Spent six months in training for what he can only describe as "painful" and as something he "doesn't recommend". Hourston has had a seven-year lapse since he last ran a marathon and insists it's going to be at least another seven years before he does it again.

6. Wayne Arnold, managing director, Profero (3hrs:39mins)

The London Marathon clearly didn't even scratch the surface for Arnold, as he is currently training for the Des Sables Marathon, which is six marathons in seven days across the Sahara desert.

7. Mike Jackson, account manager, Ad Link (3hrs:58mins)

Has run the marathon for the past three years but is disappointed with this year's slowest time yet. Jackson has a claim to marathon fame though and was picked from the sweaty hordes for a Roger Black interview ... well, that makes it all worthwhile!

8. Stephen Pickthall, business director, Lowe (4hrs:09mins)

Recalls: "It was horrible, it was hot and it was a long way." Pickthall works on Flora, the official London Marathon sponsor, so felt obliged to add: "It was a great opportunity to get involved."

9. Anna Toosey, writer, Saatchi & Saatchi (4hrs:12mins)

Originally offered a time of 2hrs:11mins, only to call back later with a massive two-hour correction. Still, a brilliant first run.

10. Tom Knox, deputy chief executive officer, DLKW (4hrs:22mins)

Although sorry to have been beaten by Alistair Campbell, what really upset him was the fact that his slower-than-expected time made him late for his lunch date.

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