Dozens of shattered runners had to be stretchered away from the finish line after completing the hottest ever London marathon today.
Many exhausted competitors collapsed to the ground after running the 26.2 mile course in the sweltering heat, while others stood in front of fans as they desperately tried to cool down.
Mobile water stations had to be dispatched to provide runners with water after stations between miles eight and ten ran out.
Race organisers had previously urged runners to reconsider aiming for personal bests and suggested ditching fancy dress costumes amid the unseasonably warm April weather.
It was the hottest London Marathon on record with the temperature reaching 23 degrees Celsius – although it was estimated to be even hotter on the tarmac.
Sir Mo Farah broke the British marathon record today but lost his cool after complaining that race stewards were too busy taking pictures of him, they forgot to hand him water.
Farah was irritated at not being able to find the right water bottle at two drink stations early in the race.
At one point he was even seen remonstrating with the motorcyclists travelling alongside the runners.
‘The drink station was confusing,’ he added. ‘The staff were helpful at the end but at the beginning they were trying to take a picture rather than giving me the drink.
‘I was saying to the people on motorbikes to tell the staff to be a bit helpful. I wasn’t wasting energy, I just needed a drink. I had to get it right.’
Meanwhile, Paula Radcliffe’s world record survived as Vivian Cheruiyot timed her run to perfection to win the women’s race.
Cheruiyot, 34, took advantage of failed attempts by last year’s winner Mary Keitany and runner-up Tirunesh Dibaba to break Radcliffe’s 15-year-old mark.
Once again the conditions told as first Dibaba, of Ethiopia, and then Cheruiyot’s fellow Kenyan Keitany fell away allowing the 2016 Olympic 5,000 metres gold medallist to claim victory.
Lily Partridge was the first British woman over the line in eighth place.
Britain’s David Weir won the men’s wheelchair race for the eighth time after a thrilling sprint finish.
The 38-year-old pipped Switzerland’s Marcel Hug into second place, with Daniel Romanchuk of the USA third.
The British Paralympic star, nicknamed the Weirwolf, said it was ‘even better’ than his victory last year, which he had described as perhaps the best race of his career. Australia’s Madison de Rozario won the women’s wheelchair race.
The first fire crew to arrive at the Grenfell Tower inferno ran the race, raising more than £41,000 for children affected by the disaster.
The team of nine from red watch at North Kensington took on the race, with David Badillo saying it was ‘very emotional’ for them.
‘It was a really positive thing to do after all that we’ve been through together’, the firefighter of 18 years in the neighbourhood said.
The money will go to Kids On The Green, a volunteer organisation set up in the aftermath of the blaze to support traumatised children.
It offers free counselling to survivors and witnesses, as well as activities such as art therapy and entertainment, including discos.
Mr Badillo, 44, said: ‘We go down there, we’ve helped them build walls, plastering, we’re a very close-knit community.
‘My boxing club was at the bottom of the tower and I also knew some people in the tower so it was very personal.
‘The emotion came seeing all our community lining the route, especially seeing Kids On The Green and all the green hearts and all the messages of support and their banners.’
The race was started by the Queen when she pressed a ‘red buzzer’ from the grounds of Windsor Castle, as 40,000 runners pounded the streets of the capital in sticky conditions.
In light of the warm weather, participants were advised to drop their goal-times and organisers added more ice, water and run-through shower stations along the 26.2-mile course.
Among this year’s runners were firefighters who tackled the Grenfell Tower blaze, a police officer stabbed in the London Bridge terror attack and members of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust.
The 18-year-old – who was a keen runner – was stabbed by thugs at a bus stop in Eltham, South East London, 25 years ago today.
Journalist Bryony Gordon and plus-size model Jada Sezer completed the 26.2 mile course in nothing but bras, knickers, socks and trainers.
The brave pair were running to raise money for Heads Together, the mental health charity set up by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, as well as hoping to encourage other curvy women to embrace exercise.
Fans also speculated that Katie Price had dropped out after she disappeared from the race’s tracker less than 15 kilometres into the race.
She had taken on the gruelling test dressed as giant pair of inflatable lungs in aid of the British Lung Foundation after her mother was diagnosed with a terminal lung illness.
The former glamour model, 39, failed to train due to a knee injury and followers have questioned whether she dropped out after a police officer was picture sporting her costume.
In an interview with Heat magazine she said previously: ‘I haven’t gone the distance I did before, because my knees are damaged…but I’d rather save my strength for marathon day.’
This is not the first time the Loose Women star has attempted the marathon.
In 2009 she was helped over the finish line by then-husband Peter Andre after injuring her knee.
Kathrine Switzer, 71, the woman who defied men-only rules to run the Boston marathon more than 50 years ago finished the race in under five hours.
She made global headlines after a race official infamously tried and failed to stop her running the then all-male Boston marathon in 1967.
Speaking today she said of the race: ‘Of the 181,000 first-timers who applied, most of them were women.
‘That tells me women are now taking a risk, taking a challenge, and going out there and laying it on the line. That’s really healthy and wonderful.’
Ms Switzer, who won the New York City marathon in 1974, organised one of the first all-female marathons – in London in 1980.
She added: ‘London has played such a role in women’s sport equality because that race went on to get the women’s marathon into the Olympic Games and that changed everything for women’s running.’
Asked if the famous moment felt like half a century ago, the German-born runner said: ‘Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t…
‘I feel like I’m 25, I feel no different when I’m running than I did then, I’m just slower.’
Ms Switzer, who kissed husband Roger Robinson after finishing, wore the number 261, just as she did in Boston all those years ago.
Competitors started in Blackheath, south east London, running a snaking route along both sides of the Thames, finishing on The Mall near Buckingham Palace.
Last year, the event raised £61.5 million for charity, a world record for an annual one-day fundraising event, making the total raised since 1981 around £890 million, organisers said.
A record 386,050 people applied for this year’s race – almost a third more than last year and the highest number for any marathon in the world.
Temperatures today beat the race’s previous 1996 record of 22.7C.
The previous warmest races in the capital were in 1996 and 2007, when highs of 22.2C were recorded.