Please note: the following article was updated on Tuesday 1 September 2020.

After months of intensive work and consultation with London’s authorities, organisers today confirmed the plans for The 40th Race on Sunday 4 October 2020.

Please read the below FAQs for more information on the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon and the options available to runners.

Runners  Virtual Event  Elite Race  2021 London Marathon

Why are you able to hold an elite race and not a mass-participation event?
The elite races for men, women and wheelchair athletes will take place on an enclosed looped course in St James’s Park in a secure biosphere (a contained safe environment like that of Formula 1 and England cricket). Please note: access to most of St James’s Park will be maintained for local residents and park users

We are able to guarantee a safe environment as all participants and their support teams will go through multiple rounds of Covid-19 testing before taking part and there will be no spectators.

For the mass participation event, we had been working for many months on a number of different scenarios including a socially distanced mass participation event – either a run or a walk – on Sunday 4 October. The health and safety of our runners, our charities, our sponsors, our volunteers, our medics, our communities and our city is always our priority.

Some of the ground-breaking ideas included us looking to use a revolutionary technology utilising Bluetooth and ultra wideband ranging, which is about to be launched worldwide.

This would have enabled us to accurately monitor every participant’s distance from each other, work out if the participant spent more than 15 minutes within 1.5 metres (or any distance we set) of anyone else and then contact them post-event if anyone had informed us that they had contracted Covid-19 in the two weeks after the event.

The biggest challenges for us were not those involving participants, but the multiple issues of managing spectators, ensuring the emergency services had access across London with the recent changes to the roadscape, the increased likelihood of a second spike that has led to the recent cancellation of spectator trials at major events and the ongoing concern about the pressure even a reduced-size mass participation marathon might put on the NHS.

Despite all our efforts, the fantastic support from all of our partners and the progress that has been made on planning for the return of smaller mass participation events that are not on the roads, it has not been possible to go ahead with a mass socially distanced walk or run.

Runners

What are my options for 4 October?
Everyone who had a place for 4 October 2020, or who had already deferred their entry to 25 April 2021, has a chance to take part in the Virgin Money London Marathon – The 40th Race by running the famous 26.2-mile distance from home or anywhere in the world on the course of their choice. All finishers will receive the coveted finisher medal and exclusive New Balance finisher T-shirt.

General entries to The 40th Race have now sold out, but some charities still have places available.

In addition, all runners and charities have the chance to defer their original place for Sunday 4 October, without any additional payment, to a future London Marathon – in 2021, 2022 or 2023.

Please read more detail here

What do I do now?
We emailed you on Tuesday 1 September with your options. Please note that you must choose one option by 17:00 BST on Friday 18 September 2020 using the link in the email, or you will lose your place and we will automatically refund the entry fee you paid. This is because the process of deferring all entries from 2020 to other years is immensely complex and we have limited time in which to complete it. If you have not received your email by 2 September, please check your junk and spam folders before contacting us.

Please note the dates of future London Marathons:

  • Sunday 3 October 2021
  • Sunday 24 April 2022
  • Sunday 23 April 2023

Can I defer my place to a future London Marathon?
Yes. Depending on the type of entry you had for the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon, you will be offered a place in either the 2021, 2022 or 2023 London Marathon. Full details on which year each entry type can request are included in the email sent to you on 1 September.

Unfortunately, we are not able to guarantee you will get your first choice option if there is a choice of more than one year, as it depends on demand for each year from all runners. If more people ask for one year than the available places, we will hold a ballot for that year to determine who gets their first choice. We will inform people who have requested a place in the 2021 event by 4 October 2020 and the 2022 or 2023 events by 31 January 2021.

If you do not wish to defer your place, you will be offered a full refund of the entry fee you paid to London Marathon Events, which will be made by 31 October 2020.

We emailed you on Tuesday 1 September with your options for deferral to a future London Marathon. You must choose one option by 17:00 BST on Friday 18 September 2020 using the link in the email or you will lose your place and we will automatically refund your entry fee. The process of deferring all entries from 2020 to other years is immensely complex.

If you have not received your email by 2 September, please check your junk and spam folders before contacting us.

All runners who had a place in the 2020 event are also eligible to enter the virtual 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon for a fee of £20.00. We will email you on 12 August when the entry system opens.

I have a place through the UK Ballot or International Ballot
You can defer your place to 3 October 2021 or 24 April 2022, or choose a refund. You cannot transfer your place to anyone else.

We will inform you by 4 October 2020 whether your place is for the 2021 or 2022 event. Unfortunately we are not able to guarantee your first choice, as it depends on demand for each year from all runners. If more people ask for one year than the places available, we will hold a ballot for that year to determine who gets their first choice.

Should your guaranteed place be in 2022, you can still enter the 2021 ballot when it opens on 4 October 2020.

We emailed you on Tuesday 1 September with your options for deferral to a future London Marathon. You must choose one option by 17:00 on Friday 18 September 2020 using the link in the email or you will lose your place and we will automatically refund your entry fee. The process of deferring all entries from 2020 to other years is immensely complex.

If you have not received your email by 2 September, please check your junk and spam folders before contacting us/

I have a place from a charity
All charities will be able to defer their guaranteed places from 2020 to either 2021, 2022 or 2023. Your place belongs to your charity and it is the charity’s decision how they allocate their places for future years.

We will be recommending that charities do allow you to defer your entry to your chosen year if possible, but please be aware of the huge challenges many charities are going through at the moment, which means fundraising both now and in the future is even more critical than ever.

Therefore, in addition to informing us of your preference via the email we sent you on 1 September (which will be passed to the charity you chose to run for), you must contact your charity directly after 24 September to discuss your options. Please remember that many charities have a large number of staff on furlough at present so it may take some time for them to come back to you.

I deferred my 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon place to April 2021 when the event was moved to October
Since the date of the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon has now moved from April 2021 to October 2021, you need to go through the same process as all 2020 ballot runners and tell us whether you would prefer to defer to 3 October 2021 or 24 April 2022, or opt for a refund. You cannot transfer your place to anyone else.

We will inform you by 4 October 2020 whether your place is for the 2021 or 2022 event. Unfortunately, we are not able to guarantee you will get your first choice, as it depends on demand for each year from all runners. If more people ask for one year than the places available, we will hold a ballot for that year to determine who gets their first choice.

Should your guaranteed place be in 2022, you can still enter the 2021 ballot when it opens on 4 October 2020.

We emailed you on Tuesday 1 September with your options for deferral to a future London Marathon. You must choose one option by 17:00 on Friday 18 September 2020 using the link in the email or you will lose your place and we will automatically refund your entry fee. The process of deferring all entries from 2020 to other years is immensely complex and we need to understand all entrants’ preferences in order to complete it in the limited time we have. If you have not received your email by 2 September, please check your junk and spam folders before contacting us.

I have a free Back of the Pack entry
You can defer your free of charge place to 3 October 2021. Please note no further deferral is possible. You cannot transfer your place to anyone else.

If we do not hear from you by 17:00 on Friday 18 September 2020, unfortunately you will lose your place in the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon, as the process of deferring all entries from 2020 to other years is immensely complex and we only have limited time available to complete it.

If you have not received your email by 2 September, please check your junk and spam folders before contacting us.

I have a place through an international tour operator
You will need to liaise with both London Marathon Events and your tour operator.

First you need to let us know your preferred year (2021, 2022 or 2023) by choosing the relevant option from the email sent to you on 1 September, as we will be allocating the places back to tour operators over a three-year period, based on the information provided to us.

You then need to tell your tour operator the same information, as they will be allocated the place. Please note that neither you, nor the tour operator, can transfer your place to another runner.

We will try to allocate everyone their preferred year, but if this is not possible we will hold a ballot.

We will inform people who have been allocated a place in the 2021 event by 4 October 2020 and the 2022 or 2023 events by 31 January 2021.

If you do not want to defer and would like a refund, you need to contact your tour operator who will process this for you.

We emailed you on Tuesday 1 September with your options for deferral to a future London Marathon. Please ensure you have chosen one option by 17:00 BST on Friday 18 September 2020 so we can liaise with your tour operator.

If you have not received your email by 2 September, please check your junk and spam folders before contacting us.

I have a Good for Age place
If your time was run in a qualifying event after 1 January 2019 and before 7 August 2019, you are automatically qualified for/eligible for a Good For Age place in the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 3 October 2021.

We emailed you on Tuesday 1 September with your options for deferral to a future London Marathon. If you request a refund of your 2020 entry fee or do not respond before the deadline of 17:00 BST on Friday 18 September 2020, you will not have a place in the 2021 event. If you have not received your email by 2 September, please check your junk and spam folders before contacting us.

If you ran the qualifying time before 1 January 2019, there are various options to secure a Good For Age place in the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon. Please refer to the Good For Age entry conditions.

I have a Championship place
If you had a place in the 2020 event and your time was run in a qualifying event from 1 January 2019 to 17 January 2020, you have been offered a Championship entry in the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon taking place on 3 October 2021.

We emailed you on Tuesday 1 September with your options for deferral to a future London Marathon. If you request a refund of your 2020 entry fee or do not respond before the deadline of 17:00 BST on Friday 18 September 2020, you will not have a place in the 2021 event.

If you have not received your email by 2 September, please check your junk and spam folders before contacting us.

If you ran the qualifying time before 1 January 2019, there are various options to secure a Championship place in the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon. Please refer to the Championship entry conditions.

I have a place through my running club
You can defer your place to 3 October 2021 or 24 April 2022, or choose a refund. You cannot transfer your place to anyone else, including another member of your running club. Any deferral will not affect future Club allocations.

We will inform you by 4 October 2020 whether your deferred place is for the 2021 or 2022 event. Unfortunately, we are not able to guarantee your first choice, as it depends on demand for each year from all runners. If more people ask for one year than the places available, we will hold a ballot for that year to determine who gets their first choice.

Should your guaranteed place be in 2022, you can still enter the 2021 ballot when it opens on 4 October 2020.

We emailed you on Tuesday 1 September with your options for deferral to a future London Marathon. You must choose one option by 17:00 on Friday 18 September 2020 using the link in the email or you will lose your place and we will automatically refund your entry fee. This is because the process of deferring all entries from 2020 to other years is immensely complex and we have limited time in which to complete it.

If you have not received your email by 2 September, please check your junk and spam folders before contacting us.

I have a place through a sponsor or stakeholder and I paid for it
You can defer your place to 3 October 2021, donate your entry fee to The London Marathon Charitable Trust, or request a refund. We emailed you on Tuesday 1 September with your options.

If you have not received your email by 2 September, please check your junk and spam folders before contacting us.

You cannot transfer your place to another member of the stakeholder or sponsor team, or anyone else.

Please note if we do not hear from you by 17:00 on Friday 18 September, unfortunately you will lose your place in the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon and the entry fee you paid will be refunded to the method of payment you originally used by 31 October 2020.

I have a place through a sponsor or stakeholder but I did not pay for it
Your place belongs to the sponsor and it is the sponsor’s decision how they allocate their places for future years.

Please contact them to determine what they will allow for 2021.

I had a deferred place from 2019 in the 2020 event
You can defer your place to 3 October 2021 or 24 April 2022 or choose a refund. You cannot transfer your place to anyone else.

We will inform you by 4 October 2020 whether your deferred place is for the 2021 or 2022 event. Unfortunately, we are not able to guarantee your first choice, as it depends on demand for each year from all runners. If more people ask for one year than the places available, we will hold a ballot for that year to determine who gets their first choice.

Should your guaranteed place be in 2022, you can still enter the 2021 ballot when it opens on 4 October.

We emailed you on Tuesday 1 September with your options for deferral to a future London Marathon. You must choose one option by 17:00 on Friday 18 September 2020 using the link in the email or you will lose your place and we will automatically refund your entry fee. This is because the process of deferring all entries from 2020 to other years is immensely complex and we have limited time in which to complete it.

If you have not received your email by 2 September, please check your junk and spam folders before contacting us.

I am an Abbott World Marathon Majors Wanda Age Group World Championships entrant who qualified through the rankings and/or paid LME for my entry
You can defer your entry to the Abbott World Marathon Majors Wanda Age Group World Championships, which will take place within the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon on 3 October 2021.

If you do not wish to defer your entry you may request a refund of your entry fee. This will be refunded to the method of payment you originally used by 31 October 2020.

We emailed you on Tuesday 1 September with your options for deferral to a future London Marathon. Please note that you must choose one option by 17:00 BST on Friday 18 September 2020 or you will automatically be sent a refund by 31 October. Deferring entries from the 2020 event is a very complicated process and we need to understand all entrants’ preferences in order to complete it.

If you have not received your email by 2 September, please check your junk and spam folders before contacting us.

I am an Abbott World Marathon Majors Wanda Age Group World Championships entrant who got my place through Wanda
Please contact Wanda for more details about your options.

Why is my place not automatically rolled over to 2021?
There are a number of reasons for this. Since more than 425,000 people who applied for a place in 2020 were not successful, we believe it is important that those who didn’t get a place in 2020 are not denied the opportunity to try for a place in 2021 as well.

Furthermore, we have a goal of maximising revenue for charities. Many of these charities are suffering massive shortfalls in income. Allocating entries to charities over a longer time period will encourage runners to fundraise in October in the virtual event and not have the pressure of fundraising all over again in the following 12 months.

If I do not wish to defer my place, or I cannot defer, do I get a refund of my entry fee?
Yes, if you paid your entry fee to London Marathon Events, we will offer you a full refund, which would be made by 31 October 2020.

Virtual 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon

What is the virtual Virgin Money London Marathon?
The virtual Virgin Money London Marathon offers the opportunity to be part of The 40th Race by completing the 26.2-mile marathon distance on Sunday 4 October from home or wherever you are on a course of your choice.

Is the virtual Virgin Money London Marathon The 40th Race?
Yes, it is – everyone who participates in the virtual Virgin Money London Marathon will be taking part in The 40th Race.

Will I get a medal and finisher T-shirt?
Everyone who completes the virtual Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 4 October and uploads proof of completion will be sent The 40th Race finisher medal and exclusive New Balance finisher T-shirt.

What is the entry fee?
Entry to the virtual Virgin Money London Marathon is £20 for a UK runner or £20 plus £5 overseas postage and packaging charge for International runners. Entrants must be 18 or over on Sunday 4 October 2020. The entry system opened on Wednesday 12 August exclusively for runners who had a place in The 40th Race and general entries sold out on Sunday 30 August.

What support will I receive?
A huge range of support materials and training guidance from Virgin Money London Marathon experts will be available on our website, via newsletters and on social media – including Facebook Live Q&A sessions..

Can I run the virtual Virgin Money London Marathon on the official course on Sunday 4 October?
No. The official marathon course will not exist on Sunday 4 October and there will be traffic on all the roads. Participants are encouraged to create their own course and run from home or wherever they are on 4 October.

All participants are asked to follow current Government guidelines on exercise and only run where it is safe to do so.

If I run the virtual Virgin Money London Marathon, can I still defer my place?
Yes. We hope you will run the virtual Virgin Money London Marathon and be part of The 40th Race and you will still be offered a deferred place in the 2021, 2022 or 2023 events. All runners were emailed on 1 September 2020 with further details of their deferral options.

If I don’t run the virtual Virgin Money London Marathon, can I still defer my place?
Yes. All runners who had an entry for the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon on 4 October or had already deferred to the 2021 event will be able to defer their place to a future London Marathon, whether or not they run the virtual Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 4 October. All runners were emailed on 1 September 2020 with further details of their deferral options.

Can I run the virtual Virgin Money London Marathon if I don’t have a place in the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon?
There were a limited number of places available in the virtual Virgin Money London Marathon. Places were offered first to participants and charities who had a place in the 2020 event. We then opened entries to all on a first-come, first-served basis on Wednesday 26 August. These sold out on Sunday 30 August and the only way of entering now is via a charity.

Will there be official results from the virtual Virgin Money London Marathon?
Yes. All participants will be asked to upload proof of their time and official results will be published. Further details on this process will be available nearer to the event.

Will my time be eligible to apply for a Good for Age or Championship entry in 2021?
Yes, results from the virtual Virgin Money London Marathon will be eligible for you to apply for a Good For Age or Championships entry in 2021.

Runners will also be asked to provide supplementary evidence.

Please visit the Good for Age entry page for more informtion on the application process and qualification period for places in 2021.

Will my run be eligible for the London Classics?
Yes. But please note you must run the 26.2 miles outside, not on a treadmill.

Will my run be eligible for a star in the Abbott World Marathon Majors Six Star series?
No, it is not eligible. Nor are the Boston Marathon Virtual Experience and the Virtual TCS New York City Marathon.

Will the Virgin Money Giving Mini London Marathon take place in 2020?
Over the past months, we have been working on plans to stage an appropriately socially distanced Virgin Money Giving Mini London Marathon with reduced numbers in St James’s Park on 4 October. Unfortunately, it has proved logistically impossible to do this and therefore there will be no Virgin Money Giving Mini London Marathon races in central London in 2020.

Elite-only 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon

Will the elite race be held on the usual route from Greenwich to The Mall?
No. The elite races will be held in a biosphere environment (a contained safe environment like that of Formula 1 and England cricket) on a loop course in an enclosed area of St James’s Park in London.

When will the elite fields be announced?
The elite fields have been announced – Eliud Kipchoge, Kenenisa Bekele, Brigid Koskei, Manuela Schär and David Weir headline the races.

This is the only Abbott World Marathon Major taking place in the autumn of 2020 and World Athletics have now designated it an Olympic qualifying event.

Can I go to St James’s Park to watch the elite races?
No, there is no spectator access to watch the elite races in order to maintain the biosphere environment.

However, BBC Sport plans to broadcast eight hours of network coverage during the day.

Will St James’s Park be open on Sunday 4 October?
Yes, the majority of St James’s Park will be open to the public on Sunday 4 October, but visitors will only be able to enter and exit the park via Queen Anne’s Gate.

The course for the elite races will be enclosed within fencing with no access or viewing points for the public.

The Green Park nearby will be open.

What time are the elite races?
The schedule for the elite races is currently as follows:

  • 07:15 – Elite women’s race
  • 10:15 – Elite men’s race
  • 13:10 – Wheelchair races

Will the races be televised?
Yes, BBC TV plans to broadcast eight hours of coverage on Sunday 4 October, with footage of the elite races and the virtual Virgin Money London Marathon.

2021 London Marathon

What is the date of the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon?
The 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon is scheduled to take place on Sunday 3 October 2021.

It has moved from its usual April date to October to maximise the chances of the mass participation event being able to take place.

When will the ballot open for the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon?
The ballot for the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon will open on Sunday 4 October and close at 17:00 on Friday 9 October 2020.

When will I find out if I have been successful in the 2021 ballot?
The 2021 ballot results will be announced by the end of January 2021.