The London Marathon will happen as it never happened before on 4 October 2020. The elite event will happen as an enclosed loop course all within St. James Park. And loops it is-nearly 20 loops!
The masses will be doing virtual events around the world.
It will be unique, and interesting. And that is the way it will be, marathon running in the time of pandemic.
The 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon will go ahead but not as we know it. The race – already postponed from April – will take place on 4 October but as an elite only race and on an enclosed looped course in St James’s Park, with no spectators. And just to be clear, there will be a mass race. BBC Sport plans to broadcast eight hours of coverage during the day.
Organisers are yet to announce the elite field sizes and how the races will be set off, including whether it will be by waves, but it has been confirmed that athletes will cross the same traditional finish line on The Mall after completing 19.8 laps of the St James’s Park course.
Event director, Hugh Brasher said: “”The course is faster than the current London Marathon course. It is not the fastest course, it is not as fast as Vienna, but it is a quick course. What we want to do is provide an environment that really excites the athletes. There is a lot of technology out there at the moment with which to do that, and how we can invite people in, in virtual reality, how we can create an atmosphere.
“It is important that we try and show that the sport can still take place. Sport plays such an incredible part in British psychology and the London Marathon reflects that in a way that very few, in fact no other, sports do. What we talk about is that it is the only event where you are taking part at the same time as the gods of the sport.
While club runners will not be able to take on the famous 26.2-mile route from Blackheath to Westminster, they will still have the opportunity to earn their medal by covering the distance from home or anywhere in the world.
The press release informed runners:
“The race can’t happen on its usual iconic route this year, but everyone with a place in the 2020 event will have a chance to run in future years and still take part in The 40th Race in 2020 by running the famous 26.2 miles from home or anywhere in the world on the course of their choice.
“You can run, walk, take breaks and will have 24 hours to complete the 26.2 miles on Sunday 4 October. It makes it the most inclusive marathon ever and gives you and your supporters a unique fundraising opportunity, just around the corner.
“We have written to all your fundraisers with a place in The 40th Race, re-enforcing the message that this is a chance to take part in a London Marathon their way, reminding them the money raised so far is with you already, making a difference.
We told them to continue using the fundraising page they already have for The 40th Race to keep raising vital funds for you and if they are taking on a future London Marathon, we will help them create a fundraising page for that event when we’re told what event they’re taking part in”.