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Our congratulations to Alexander Betts (Professor of Forced Migration and International Affairs) for completing the Abbott World Marathon Majors (London, Berlin, Chicago, New York, Tokyo and Boston marathons) in a record average time of 2 hours 41 minutes for the Series. A phenomenal achievement. He has also raised over £2000 for Asylum Welcome, an Oxford-based refugee charity.

In an article titled ‘Embedded in the local but open to the world – treasure the London Marathon’ in yesterday’s Guardian, Alex wrote about his six marathons, and in particular the London Marathon, which he says “stands out as the best”. He writes, “At a time when the country is divided and British identity is contested, the marathon is an example of something we do together outstandingly. It deserves to be celebrated as such… It combines outward-looking internationalism with deep community engagement. It exemplifies how working inclusively across national boundaries can bring local benefits – echoes of my day job.”

He talks of the inclusivity and ‘level playing field’ of marathons; the exceptional amount of charitable fundraising achieved; and the profound inclusivity of London itself.

In concluding he writes, “at a time when it is most needed, the London Marathon highlights so much of what Britain can be – a country of inclusivity, tolerance and solidarity.”

Read the Guardian article here >>

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