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35,000 people set off through the English rain yesterday in the third biggest London Marathon ever held. And a handful of celebrities slipped on their running shoes, polished off their pedometers, and sweated their way along the 26 mile course for charity.

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay managed to compete in his ninth marathon with very little of his trademark bad language, and completed the race in just under three hours.

“It doesn’t get any easier,” said the Michelin-star winner, who was raising money for Spina Bifida research. “There were thousands who came out – they were fantastic.”

Actress Amanda Holden – whose show, Britain’s Got Talent, has just returned to TV – also braved the blisters for a good cause. The 37-year-old ran the event to raise money for the Born Free Foundation, of which she is patron. She trained for six months for the marathon, during which she set up a website for people to follow her training and sponsor her effort. She raised over $12,000 from sponsors, including pledges from Simon Cowell ($2,000) and Piers Morgan ($2,002).

Other celebrities puffing their way through the streets of London included Ronan Keating and former Big Brother winner Kate Lawler, who raised thousands for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

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