Nick Bi­tel hopes for a record-break­ing Lon­don marathon

The Jewish Chronicle - - PEOPLE - SEE SPORTS, P 76

SUN­DAY’S LON­DON Marathon will raise over £46.5 mil­lion, smash­ing the world record for the largest an­nual one-day fundraiser, claims the event’s main man Nick Bi­tel.

A part­ner in sports law firm Max Bi­tel Greene, Mr Bi­tel has been part-time chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Lon­don Marathon since 1993. Un­der his author­ity, the num­ber of peo­ple run­ning has grown by around 50 per cent. So, what makes the marathon so pop­u­lar? “It is the great sub­ur­ban Ever­est,” says Mr Bi­tel, 48.

“Peo­ple like the chal­lenge. It also gives them the op­por­tu­nity to take part in a sport­ing event with pro­fes­sional sports­peo­ple. You wouldn’t be able to play with the play­ers on the pitch at Wem­b­ley for in­stance, or cen­tre court at Wim­ble­don.”

Mr Bi­tel ex­pects a full ca­pac­ity of 36,500 run­ners on Sun­day — the event’s full ca­pac­ity — and says that around 90,000 ap­pli­ca­tions are turned away each year. He ac­knowl­edges there has been a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in Jewish par­tic­i­pants. “Peo­ples’ per­cep­tion of the marathon has moved away from be­ing purely an ath­let­ics event to a fundrais­ing one and the Jewish com­mu­nity is well­known for its char­i­ta­ble fundrais­ing.”

Mr Bi­tel, whose sports law clients in­clude the Ry­der Cup and PGA Euro­pean Tour, Uefa, Fifa and Wim­ble­don, is also on the board of UK Sport.

He lives in Hamp­stead Gar­den Sub­urb and is a mem­ber of Nor­rice Lea Syn­a­gogue.

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