Richmond RUNFEST to host Olympic Marathon Trial
British Marathon Championships and Tokyo Olympic Games trials will be held in Kew Gardens on Friday 26 March 2021
British Athletics has republished the selection policy for the postponed Tokyo Olympic Games, updated with the new marathon trial event which will now take place on a multi-lap course at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew on Friday 26 March 2021.
The event, organised by Richmond RUNFEST on behalf of British Athletics, will benefit from the expertise of former London Marathon race director David Bedford as Technical Director, with his son Tom as Race Director, and will also double as British Marathon Championships for 2021. Entry is via invitation only and men's and women’s races will be run separately, with strictly limited entries (around 30 per gender) due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The trial race will be part of a weekend of events organised by Richmond RUNFEST, who will also put on a socially-distanced ‘Richmond Marathon and AIR:10K’ in South West London over the weekend. Last month, Richmond RUNFEST successfully held two socially-distanced 10Ks for over 3,500 runners on a course known for being sheltered and flat.
Tom Bedford, RUNFEST Race Director, said: "In 2013, Richmond RUNFEST was created as a London Olympic Legacy event and it is a privilege for us to help our country's top marathon runners book an Olympic place for Tokyo 2021. The Olympic Marathon trials outside of London Marathon is a unique but exciting prospect and during the hardest of years we hope that Richmond will once again rejuvenate the Olympic spirit of 2012 and make history again!”
Referring to Richmond's recent past, Tom added: “The borough of Richmond is the epicentre of British running history. It was the birthplace of London Marathon and parkrun. Mo Farah was finely tuned-up as an Olympic gold machine at St Mary's University and even Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew played a part in raising the Olympic spirit going into the London 2012, celebrating '100 days to go' and the Olympic Torch relay”.
Cherry Alexander OBE, British Athletics Major Events Director said: “We’re delighted to confirm the British Championships incorporating Olympic Marathon Trial race is to be held at Kew Gardens. It is an iconic venue and lends itself well to a marathon course over multiple laps. It’s great to be able to tap into the expertise of working with Tom, who has experience of delivering races at the venue. His knowledge of what the athletes will need from the race will ensure we are putting them at the heart of the event and providing a great platform on which to perform well.”
Runners can still enter Richmond Marathon on 27 March and Air:10K by visiting Richmond RUNFEST here
Image: Richmond RUNFEST