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Virgin Money London Marathon 2020 (VIRTUAL)

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


This year's event is no longer taking place in central London, however you can still join the fun and support charities by taking part in a run for charity in your local area. 

Due to the current coronavirus outbreak, the Virgin Money London Marathon 2020 is now taking place near you!

Although official entries are sold out, you can still join thousands of runners by running for charity, as you choose your own marathon-distance route in your local patch.

Track your route on the day using The Official 40th Race App and make use of the free training and support guides provided as you raise money for charity on this legendary, socially-distanced event.

What are the usual London Marathon highlights? 

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.

What is the London Marathon route?

The first half of the route usually 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 so many landmarks and impressive scenery to see, 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

What is the history of the London Marathon?

The London Marathon was created after 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. Check the 2019 London Marathon results.

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

Important information

The Virgin Money London Marathon is taking place on 4 October in the form of a socially distanced virtual event, as participants choose to run their own route in their local areas.

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