Record numbers are expected to run the 2015 London Marathon on Sunday as more than 38,000 registered for the race, organisers said.

When registration desks at the London Marathon Expo at ExCeL London closed on Saturday, a total of 38,262 accepted applicants for places had picked up their running numbers and timing tags, Xinhua reported.

Around 37,800 are predicted to start the race this year, making the 2015 London Marathon the biggest in the event’s 35-year history. The previous record was set in 2012 when 37,227 started and 36,705 finished the race.

The London Marathon’s three inaugural champions, Dick Beardsley, Inge Simonsen and Joyce Smith, will set the elite wheelchair racers on their way from Blackheath, to be followed by nearly 100 of the world’s top para- athletes competing for their countries in the other six events of the IPC Athletics Marathon World Championships.

The best women marathon runners in the world will set off in pursuit of one of the most prestigious big city titles, while an elite men’s field packed with champions and record- breakers will begin the 42.195-kilometer journey from south east London to Westminster.

Among those competing for the prized London Marathon titles will be 20 London 2012 Olympics and Paralympic athletics medallists, including four London 2012 marathon champions, and many of the quickest marathon runners ever to complete the gruelling classic distance.

The elite will be followed by thousands of club athletes, fun runners, charity fundraisers, celebrities, politicians and fancy dress costume wearers. 

Among the masses will be Paula Radcliffe, the three-times winner and women’s world record holder, who bids farewell to her career as a professional athlete with one last race on the streets where she made her name more than a decade ago.

Reigning champions Wilson Kipsang and Edna Kiplagat will be among the favourites as they defend their London Marathon crowns against two of the toughest fields in history.

Chief among those challenging Kipsang as he bids for a London hat-trick will be fellow Kenyan Dennis Kimetto, who makes his London debut seven months after taking the world record below the 2:03 barrier.