Entry Is Now Open For The Virtual London Marathon 2020
Photograph: courtesy Virgin Money London Marathon
The London Marathon is not normally an easy race to get into. Every year hundreds of thousands of people are left disappointed by the ballot process, and with more and more people entering the ballot each year, the chances of getting a place on the start line aren’t improving.
The virtual race taking place in 2020 is, then, a unique opportunity to get hold of a coveted London Marathon medal. While it won’t be the same as running the route itself alongside 40,000 other people, the event organisers have made every attempt to create a special day on Sunday 4th October when entrants can complete the marathon distance however slowly they like and wherever they want.
You have from 00:00 to 23:59:59 on the day to complete your marathon, so you can take all day about it and walk the distance. Or, if you have been training hard just in case the event went ahead, find a nice flat route and go for your best time – if you’re fast enough you will be able to qualify for a Good For Age or Championship place at next year’s London Marathon through this virtual event.
A new app is being developed by the London Marathon and its partner TCS to officially log your 42.2km, so you get a place on the list of finishers for the 2020 event. You will probably need to carry your phone with you for this, so a running belt or backpack is going to be useful, especially as you’ll also need to take all your hydration and nutrition with you since there won’t be people handing out water.
It costs £20 to enter the virtual London Marathon, with all profits going to the London Marathon Charitable Trust. You get a race medal and finishers T-shirt if you complete the virtual event.
If you’ve not started training yet, we’d strongly recommend opting to take the marathon on the 4th October nice and easy, and walk it in a silly costume with friends (at an appropriate social distance of course).
Whenever and wherever you run, we also urge you to watch the elite London Marathon race on the 4th, which is taking place on a short, closed loop in St James’s Park and features the two fastest marathoners of all-time – Eliud Kipchoge and Keninisa Bekele – going head to head, as well as the female world record holder – Brigid Kosgei. The short version is, it’s going to be fast.