London Marathon champions 2019

Virtual London Marathon is a sold-out success

Historic 40th Race arrangements are finalised

It's 'biosecure bubbles' and 19 laps for the elite competitors and a sold-out 45,000 field for the historic 2020 Virtual Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 4 October.

The 2020 event will be The 40th Race in London Marathon history and the first to have elite-only races. The races will take place on a closed-loop circuit around St James’s Park in central London. Each race will comprise 19 x 2.15 kilometre laps of St James’s Park, plus an extra 1,345m to the finish line in its traditional place on The Mall. The course had been considered for the INEOS 1:59 Challenge before Vienna was finally selected.

All elite competitors will be subject to strict guidelines on testing, travel, accommodation and competition. In order to create and preserve a safe and secure environment around the athletes, they will stay in a hotel outside London which will be used exclusively by athletes and support staff, plus a team from Virgin Money London Marathon. The hotel was chosen for its 40 acres of grounds where athletes will be able to train inside the bubble.   

The marathon course will be sealed off from the public to maintain the integrity of the biosecure bubble. There is no spectator access and there will be no public viewing points along the course. The BBC is planning eight hours of live coverage of the event and people will be asked to watch on TV instead as the best marathon runners on the planet go toe to toe in London.  

Alongside the elite races, some 45,000 people from 81 different countries have signed up to run the famous 26.2-mile marathon distance from home or anywhere in the world on the course of their choice. All finishers will receive the coveted finisher medal and New Balance finisher T-shirt. In addition, all runners and charities have been offered the chance to defer their place to a future London Marathon – in 2021, 2022 or 2023.

Virgin Money London Marathon may have been necessarily sanitised and stripped of its mass participation and crowd support elements but the elite races will still make compelling viewing as defending champion and world record holder Eliud Kipchoge goes head-to-head with Kenenisa Bekele in a marathon for the first time; the defending champion and world record holder Brigid Kosgei heads the women's field and the two best marathon wheelchair athletes in the world – Daniel Romanchuk and Manuela Schär – also return to defend their titles.

Full race details at Virgin Money London Marathon here.

Image courtesy London Marathon media gallery

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