Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: 2020 London Marathon now cancelled...

Friday, August 07, 2020

2020 London Marathon now cancelled...

The London Marathon which was originally due to have been held in April of 2020 was postponed until October of this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The organisers have now announced that there will be no marathon in 2020.

They also announced that the next event will be held in October of 2021 instead of April.

From the London Marathon... "It’s with a heavy heart that we can confirm, for the first time since 1981, the Virgin Money London Marathon will not be taking place in its usual format.⁣

Despite the disappointment, the Virgin Money London Marathon team are working hard on creating the first-ever virtual London Marathon, which will take place on Sunday 4 October.⁣

We’ve also ensured everyone who had a place for the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon has the chance to rollover their place to a future race in 2021, 2022 or 2023.⁣

In 2021, the London Marathon will move from its usual April date to Sunday 3 October to give the best chance for the mass race to return in 2021.

“We have been working for months on a number of different scenarios with the health and safety of our runners, our charities, our sponsors, our volunteers, our medics, our communities and our city always our priority,” said Hugh Brasher, Event Director of the Virgin Money London Marathon. “We had detailed plans to deliver a socially distanced mass participation event – either a run or a walk – and we were planning to utilise new technology to do this. We were looking to use a revolutionary technology using Bluetooth and ultra wideband ranging, which is about to be launched worldwide.

“This would have enabled us to accurately monitor every participant’s distance from each other, work out if the participant spent more than 15 minutes within 1.5 metres (or any distance we set) of anyone else and then contact them post-event if anyone had informed us that they had contracted Covid-19 in the two weeks after the event.

“Despite all our efforts, the fantastic support from all of our partners and the progress that has been made on planning for the return of smaller mass participation events that are not on the roads, it has not been possible to go ahead with a mass socially distanced walk or run.

“In parallel with the work on the plans for the socially distanced mass event, we had a team working on planning the elite races for men, women and wheelchair athletes in a biosphere environment in St James’s Park and another team creating a truly inspiring Virgin Money London Marathon which means participants across the UK and abroad can still be part of The 40th Race from their home or wherever they might be on 4 October.”

Participants in the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon will have 24 hours to complete the 26.2 miles, from 00:00 to 23:59 on Sunday 4 October. They can run, walk, take breaks and log their race on a new London Marathon app being developed by event partner TCS. Runners can also use their time, with appropriate supporting evidence, to apply for a Good for Age or Championship place in 2021.

“We know how disappointing it is that the Covid-19 pandemic means that it’s not possible this year to run the famous course on the streets of London,” said Brasher. “But we’re offering everyone who has a place this year, or who had already deferred to April 2021, the chance to participate in The 40th Race and every eligible runner also has the chance to run on the streets of London in 2021, 2022 or 2023. If existing runners do not want to take part in The 40th Race, we will be offering their places to other runners who would like to raise vital funds for charity.”

In 2019, the Virgin Money London Marathon raised a world record £66.4 million for good causes. Current estimates are that the charity sector is facing a funding shortfall of £10 billion at a time when services are needed more than ever (source:

“The London Marathon is far more than just a marathon,” said Brasher. “It brings society together in a moment of celebration of all that is good about humanity. We believe that Sunday 4 October will be a London Marathon like no other, and The 40th Race will take the spirit of the world’s greatest marathon to every corner of the globe, with runners raising vital funds for the charities that have been so severely affected by the economic effects of the pandemic.”

London Marathon Events would like to acknowledge the fantastic support for the London Marathon from the Mayor of London’s office, Transport for London, the emergency services, BBC Sport, The Royal Parks, City of Westminster, the City of London, Greenwich, Lewisham, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Canary Wharf and many other partners and stakeholders.

Runners with a place in The 40th Race, or who had already deferred to April 2021, will be able to confirm they still wish to run the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon from Wednesday 12 August.

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