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Marathon world-record holder to honour Queen’s memory by planting a tree

Marathon world-record holder Eliud Kipchoge will plant a tree in honour of the late Queen and launch the “Living Hall Of Fame” recognising past London Marathon champions (PA)
Marathon world-record holder Eliud Kipchoge will plant a tree in honour of the late Queen and launch the “Living Hall Of Fame” recognising past London Marathon champions (PA)

Marathon world-record holder Eliud Kipchoge will plant a tree in honour of the late Queen and launch the “Living Hall Of Fame” recognising past London Marathon champions.

Kipchoge, who will run in Sunday’s London Marathon, will start a young sapling on its new life for the Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC), established to mark the Queen’s 70-year reign – with the public invited to “plant a tree for the Jubilee”.

As well as commemorating the Queen, the tree marks the launch of the London Marathon’s Living Hall Of Fame, which, over the next decade, will see a tree planted for every London Marathon champion since 1981.

Queen Elizabeth II death
The King and late Queen attending a Queen’s Green Canopy event in Scotland (PA)

Eliud Kipchoge, who has won the London Marathon four times, said: “For me, trees represent life and legacy. I would like this world to be a running world and a green world.

“Therefore, it is a great honour to plant this tree in the London Marathon Living Hall Of Fame, especially since this is the first tree in the new planting season for the Queen’s Green Canopy.

“It is a wonderful way to remember my four victories in London and I hope to visit this tree every time I return to London in future.”

On Saturday – the first day of the UK’s tree planting season – the world-record holder will plant a flowering cherry tree in Blackheath Avenue in Greenwich Park, close to the start of the London Marathon, and will be joined by QGC chief executive officer Colonel Dan Rex and staff from the Royal Parks.

Platinum Jubilee
Vestry member Neil McKnight plants a tree as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative during a picnic at St Bartholomew’s Parish Church, Newry (PA)

More than a million trees have been planted in the Queen’s name during the October 2021 to March 2022 planting season.

The QGC was due to conclude in December at the end of the Jubilee year but, following the wishes of the King, the initiative’s patron, it has been extended to the end of March 2023 to give people the opportunity to plant trees in memory of the late monarch.

Graham Dear, Greenwich Park manager, said: “Greenwich Park, one of London’s eight royal parks, has proudly hosted the start of the London Marathon since its inception in 1981.

“The planting of a flowering cherry tree, ‘Pink Perfection’, on the marathon route in the park is a fitting way to celebrate the London Marathon Living Hall Of Fame in partnership with The Queen’s Green Canopy.”