Organisers of this year’s London Marathon have announced ambitious plans for a record-breaking race featuring a total of 100,000 participants in-person and virtually.
Following the success of last year’s virtual mass participation London Marathon, which saw a world record total of 37,966 people register a time after completing a 26.2 mile course of their choice, organisers have announced 50,000 places for this year’s virtual edition, scheduled for Sunday October 3.
On the same day, it is hoped that 50,000 runners can take part in an in-person event around the traditional course in the city.
If this is achieved it would represent an increase of more than 7,000 on the previous finisher record.
Despite England currently being under a national lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, with people only allowed to leave home for limited reasons, London Marathon event director Hugh Brasher said he was hopeful of the mass participation event going ahead in person this year.
“With a national vaccination programme underway, we hope to see an unprecedented 100,000 people take part in this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday October 3,” said Brasher.
“The London Marathon is a wonderful example of sport as a force for good while raising millions for charity.
“It’s all about communities and people coming together and one of our founding pillars is 'to have fun and provide some happiness and a sense of achievement in a troubled world'.
BACK FOR 2021! 🙌— Virgin Money London Marathon (@LondonMarathon) January 21, 2021
Today we are really excited to announce that in October we will be holding a Virtual Virgin Money London Marathon alongside our physical event.
It means for the first time, over 100,000 people will take part in a #LondonMarathon! 💯
Click below for more 👇
“The world record-breaking success of the virtual event in 2020 and the incredible stories from participants across the globe showed how the world’s greatest marathon brought light and hope in the darkness of the pandemic.
“We want to offer that again and we have also accelerated the plans we have been working on for some years to increase the number of finishers on the streets of London to 50,000.
“People can run wherever they are in the world, they can run for charity, they can run for their mental or physical health, or run for the sheer enjoyment of it – whatever the reason, they will be part of a unique day in the history of the London Marathon on Sunday October 3.”
Organisers say they are also hopeful that the Virgin Money Giving Mini London Marathon, targeted at schoolchildren, can return to the city’s streets, alongside a virtual Virgin Money Giving Mini London Marathon, which attracted more than 110,000 participants.
Those who entered the ballot for the in-person 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon are due to find out on Monday February 8 if they have been successful.
Unsuccessful applicants will have an exclusive week-long window from Tuesday February 9 to enter the virtual event.
Any places for general entry will open on Tuesday February 16 on a first-come, first-served basis.
Entries cost £28 and all finishers will receive their running numbers before the event and their official finisher medal and New Balance finisher’s T-shirt post-event.