Paula Radcliffe, the 'golden girl' of British athletics, won the 2005 London Marathon at the weekend and ensured that this landmark sporting event gained worldwide exposure. Her record-breaking run was a fitting highlight for the 25th London Marathon and helped ensure maximum publicity for the event and for sponsors Flora. Her prizemoney for winning, and breaking her own record for a womens-only marathon, was £175,000. In addition, she also received an appearance fee said to be worth about £250,000. A big investment by organisers and sponsors, but apparently returned with interest in terms of event publicity and prestige. The 2005 Flora London Marathon attracted almost 100,000 entries for the ballot from which 46,000 were selected to run. This ballot entry field represented a 20% increase on 2004 and shows the continuing popularity of the Marathon as a participatory sports event. 75% of these competitors take part in sponsored fund-raising, and last year these efforts rasied over £32m for charities. All participants who finished received a medal, while the headline winners - including Radcliffe - also received a sponsored circular flat glass award (pictured above).