There has been a mixed reaction in the world of athletics to the announcement that today’s will be the last London Marathon ever to be run.

The race which raises millions for charities and attracts the world’s greatest distance runners and crackpots running in suits of armour alike, has been staged annually now since 1981 and has become a massive Springtime tourist attraction.

But at an early morning press conference Catweazle looky-likey, Sir Richard Branson, told the world’s media that from next year the race will be known as The London Snickers.

‘It’s quite simple to understand why we’ve made these changes. Snickers is a more global-friendly and a more easily pronounced word than Marathon,’ said the beardy Knight munching on a chocolate bar.

The move has not played well however with meddling health and fitness do-gooders. ‘This is a dreadful idea and sends the wrong signal entirely. The London Marathon has always been about exercise, endeavour  and wellbeing.’

‘It screams out health and  fitness, whereas The London Snickers will conjure up images of 25-stone lard-arsed couch potatoes stuffing chocolate down their faces and watching Jeremy Kyle every day,’ complains William Whizhart of Leg-it Magazine.

However Sir Richard was adamant when taking questions that the change will not be reversed. Still stuffing his face he said: ‘People will get used to this given a little time. Mmm, bloody lovely these you know, would anyone like one? My car boot’s full of them.’