It's nearly time for one of the most anticipated dates in the sporting diary: The prestigious, influential and thrilling London Marathon. The race has been running (excuse the pun) since 1981 and is celebrated as a massively successful fundraiser for hundreds of charities.

All for a good cause, the event draws in an unbelievable turn out and in 2012 gained ultimate status as the world's largest marathon with over 36,000 people completing the race. With that many individuals it can be hard to pick out the prawns from the prunes, the squirrels from the squires and the rabbits from the runners...

If you think we're talking nonsense then just take a look at the following selection of the most humorous, unique and outright ridiculous costumes that people have donned for this race. (And, believe us, it's actually the 'competitive runners' that are few and far between.)

Endurance

So while Mo Farah is on the case attempting to get another personal best, there are many runners whose speed is somewhat hindered by their apparel.

Our favourite acts of sheer determination go to these two heroes:

The Deep-Sea Diver

Deep Sea Diver at the London Marathon

Llord Scott as the Deep Sea Diver in 2002. [image source]

Lloyd Scott completed the marathon in 2002 by walking the course in a deep-sea diver's suit, weighing 130lbs. It took him five days, eight hours, 29 minutes and 46 seconds to reach the finish line, making him possibly the most unique ‘runner' to date.

Read about Scott's incredible life and why he fundraises at lloydscott.co.uk.

The Rhino

The Rhino

Justin Wateridge in his Rhino costume. [image source]

43-year-old, travel agent, Justin Wateridge completed the race in a 6ft 8ins rhino costume, weighing 25lbs, and raised thousands for Save the Rhino. Needless to say, he received a considerable amount of attention in this get-up!

Humorous

Here's a few of many funny costume choices adopted over the years. There's the big and bold, the cuddly characters, the imaginative, and the ‘have to look twice in disbelief' ones.

Fun Costumes at the London Marathon

Amazing and funny costumes at the London Marathon.
Sources: Heart.co.uk, Neatorama, Flickr, Flickr, Finishline, Flickr

We particularly like the effect that a little, simple wit can have, like this man's t-shirt! It also demonstrates that people of all backgrounds take part in the race and that everyone's welcome...

Fantastic Tshirt at the London Marathon

Fantastic Tshirt at the London Marathon

Branding

The London Marathon is also a fantastic opportunity for businesses to get their brands out there, for literally thousands of people to see. (Including much publicity and glory when they pass over the finish line.) Here's a few loud and proud brands that you can't fail to spot.

There's a significant amount of drinks running around…reminding runners to stay hydrated perhaps?! Luckily we have a range of sports bottles available here too! Not to mention clothing, caps and other accessories that you can get branded up in preparation for the race.

Lucozade Sports Bottle

Lucozade Sports Bottle at the London Marathon. [image source]

Guinness Pint

Good things come to those who... run? [image source]

There's also the iconic, such as these famous London buildings – a nice tribute to our capital and home of the race.

London Buildings

London Buildings, running the London Marathon. In London. [image source]

You'll also come across the odd familiar face...

Spongebob running

Spongebob Squarepants running the marathon... [image source]

All of these examples illustrate the playfulness, determination and communal feel that lies at the heart of the London marathon. When it comes to fundraising, people are willing to endure a challenge and do so in a creative and inspiring way. We very much look forward to seeing all of the weird and wonderful costumes on Sunday!