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Richard Branson led his team in yesterday’s London Marathon to an outstanding result, raising huge amounts of money for charity.

The entrepreneur finished just behind Natalie Imbruglia in the race, which saw a total of 18 new world records – including the number of runners tied together. The human chain – which featured 34 people tied together by a bungee cord – included Princess Beatrice, the first member of the royal family to compete in the event.

The Princess – who completed the 26.2 mile course in 5 hours, 15 minutes and 57 seconds – was running to raise money for Children In Crisis, and joined other celebrities in Branson’s team including Jenni Falconer (CLIC Sargent and Virgin Unite), Lee Evans (Save the Children), Natalie Imbruglia (Virgin Unite), Lorraine Kelly (CLIC Sargent), Gordon Ramsay (Scottish Spina Bifida Association). Ramsay, however, did not complete the race – despite being a veteran of marathons in the UK and US.

“Even the best marathon runners drop out,” commented Branson. “You can get cramp so easily. I don’t think anybody should feel disappointed or ashamed. At least he tried.”

60-year-old Branson – who raised money for Virgin Unite – trained hard to compete in the race, and is extremely happy with what his team has achieved.

“I’m feeling very elated. It’s been an incredible day,” he said. “I’m sure I would have given in hours ago if it hadn’t been for the crowd. Your body is saying stop, go home, get in a bath, but the crowd is saying go on and finish. I know that if I sit down now I will never stand up again.”

For updates, visit the VirginLondonMarathon.com website.

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