London marathon cost 150,000 pounds on athletes' trips via air chaos

13:34, April 23, 2010      

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London marathon organizers announced Thursday that they have spent 150,000 pounds on hiring a private jet for African runners amid plane chaos by the volcanic ash cloud over Europe.

"We expect everyone to be here," race director David Bedford told a news conference.

Sunday's race has been deeply impacted as travel plans were disrupted, and many athletes were forced to undertake grueling road and train trips before planes were allowed to take to the air again late Tuesday.

Olympic champion Sammy Wanjiru arrived in London on Thursday after a two-day journey from Nairobi, using two different chartered aircraft, which cost the organizers a lot.

"It has been about making sure we maintain the value and quality of the event rather than bean counting," Bedford said.

German Irina Mikitenko, who is chasing a third straight victory in London, traveled by train to Brussels before taking the Eurostar, while last year's runner-up Mara Yamauchi of Britain got to London from Albuquerque, New Mexico with a sapping six-day journey.



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