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Virgin Money London Marathon 2020

Virgin Money London Marathon 2018. Copyright: Bob Martin. Image courtesy of Virgin Money London Marathon.
Be part of the Virgin Money London Marathon: whether you run, walk or cheer from the sidelines, this is a London sporting institution. Read More


Join thousands of runners and spectators on the streets of London for the Virgin Money London Marathon 2020.

Every year, more than 40,000 people run the 26.2-mile (42.2km) marathon through the streets of London.

Some run for personal achievement, some to raise money for their favourite charity, and many run in outrageous fancy dress: from a giant shoe and a London bus, to superheroes and a wide range of animals.

The Virgin Money London Marathon is open to all abilities, from beginners to professional athletes. Celebrities who have run the London Marathon in previous years include Chris Evans, Princess Beatrice, Gordon Ramsay, Agyness Dean, Jenson Button and even astronaut Tim Peake in the International Space Station.

London Marathon route

The first half of the route runs just south of the Thames starting at Greenwich and Blackheath. After crossing the river on Tower Bridge, runners pass some of the capital's most famous landmarks, including the Tower of London and Big Ben, before finishing in front of Buckingham Palace.

With such a vast and impressive scenery, it's no wonder the organisers have dubbed it a "historical jog around London".

Runners pass the Coca-Cola London Eye during the Virgin Money London Marathon

History of the London Marathon

The London Marathon was created after the former Olympic champion Chris Brasher returned from running the New York Marathon. He was so inspired by the sight of more than a million spectators and runners from different cultures united by this one challenge, he felt London had to have its own marathon.

After months of studying the race organisation and finances of big-city marathons, Brasher established the organisation's charitable status. His vision was realised on 29 March 1981 with the inaugural London Marathon. It was an instant success.

London's Marathon: for fun and charity

Each year, millions of people watch and cheer from street corners and London pubs. You could call it London's 26.2-mile street party!

Whether you're supporting from the sidelines or sweating it out on the road, at the end of the day the winners are the charities. Between 1981 and 2019, participants have raised more than £1 billion, and the event manages to set a new record for a one-day annual charitable fundraising event just about every year.

The ballot for the 2020 event is now closed. The ballot entry dates for the 2021 marathon will be announced after next year's event. 

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