By Mike Rowbottom at the Tower Hotel in London

David Weir london marathonApril 19 - Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson is hoping David Weir can break her record of six London Marathon wheelchair titles on Sunday (April 21) – although she admitted she would feel differently if she was still competing.

"I hope he does it, because it will be great for him," Baroness Tanni (pictured top, right, with Weir) told insidethegames.

"But I say that as an athlete who has retired.

"If I was still a competitor I would probably feel slightly different.

"When people would break world records, for instance, you wanted to get them back.

"But there's nothing I can do about this.

"So if David gets the record, I will be happy."

tanni2002londonwinBaroness Tanni Grey-Thompson secures her sixth and last London Marathon title in 2002

Weir, who equalled Baroness Tanni's record with victory in last year's Virgin London Marathon, admitted he had had a difficult preparation for Sunday's race - but added that he is competing with less pressure than at any time since London won their Games bid in 2005.

"It's been tough training over the winter," Weir said.

"I was still training in snow two weeks ago.

"But I feel I am in better shape than I was at this time last year, when everything was focused on the Paralympics.

"I feel like I am better focused for this year's London Marathon.

"Ever since the day London won the bid for the 2012 Games I have been under pressure to perform there.

"The next day I was getting calls asking how many medals I was going to win at London 2012.

"It feels like I've had that same pressure for the last seven years.

"This year I'm training freely, I've not got the Paralympics in the back of my mind."

daveweirlondon2012maraparlDavid Weir en route to the London 2012 Paralympic marathon title

After his marathon victory at last year's Paralympics, Weir complained, somewhat wearily, that the other racers had ganged up against him.

Did he think he was in for the same treatment on Sunday?

"What do you think?" he replied with a grin.

"I'm the only Brit in the race.

"I do get a little bit of help from some athletes.

"I won't name them - for obvious reasons.

"But that's just racing.

"You deal with it.

"There's a lot of quality athletes in the field.

"But I'm going to do my own race and try really hard to get that seventh victory."

Weir added that his first thought when he heard about the Boston bombing was for the London Marathon representatives who were out there.

"I texted them, and I soon got a text back saying there were all okay," he said.

"But your heart rate goes up a little bit until you hear that people you know are all right.

"Then when the news came out about people being killed – hearing that a child had died...having children myself, that was heartbreaking.

"I wasn't able to watch it for long.

"It's awful."

Tatyana McFadden crosses the finish line to win the womens wheelchair division of the 2013 Boston MarathonTatyana McFadden crosses the finish line to win the women's wheelchair division of the 2013 Boston Marathon

Tatyana McFadden, the American racer who won three golds and a bronze on the track at the London 2012 Paralympics, said she had been asked following her victory in the Boston Marathon - her debut on the course - whether she had contemplated not racing in London.

"I say 'No, you can't do that'," she insisted.

"There's always going to be bad people in the world.

"This Sunday I will definitely be racing with those who suffered in Boston in my heart.

"As an elite wheelchair athlete I am a model for people with disability and it's my job as an athlete to go out and meet challenges which will maybe help others to do the same thing."

Britain's defending champion Shelly Woods, who was also marathon silver medallist at the Paralympics, added: "I saw the news while I was on a British Athletics training camp in the Canary Isles.

"It was horrific – it was incredibly scary to think of all the stuff that people went through.

"Like Tatyana said, on Sunday I will be racing with the thoughts of people who were injured in Boston in mind."

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
March 2013: Weir takes victory in adidas Silverstone Half Marathon
February 2013: I will keep going until I win record seventh Virgin London Marathon crown says Weir
January 2013: Virgin London Marathon presents Weir with special werewolf racing helmet
December 2012: Weir targets London Marathon record and Glasgow 2014
October 2012: Weir voted 2012 British Paralympic Athlete of the Year