A middle-aged club runner became the first person ever to complete the London 2012 marathon route yesterday.

Chris Finill, aged 52, was among just under 50 amateur athletes given the opportunity to test out the Olympic route ahead of Bupa London 10,000 road race.

Harrow runner Chris was given the honour of crossing the line first by his competitors in recognition of his record of completing all 31 London Marathons since it was introduced in 1981.

He said: “I would prefer to run this course than the regular marathon course. It’s designed to showcase the city and it does that well.

“It is a very cleverly selected route and will be popular with viewers and runners alike.”

The Olympic marathon course differs from the traditional London Marathon route, although it does finish in the same place. The marathon starts on The Mall with a circuit of St. James’ Park, followed by three eight-mile loops around various landmarks including Admiralty Arch, Birdcage Walk, St Paul’s Cathedral, Leadenhall, Tower Hill and the Houses of Parliament, before finishing in The Mall.

The test run did help to identify a couple of problems with the Paralympics route. Organisers will now look at three tight corners and a short cobbled stretch which caused concern among wheelchair athletes.