Mile 18 in the elite races at the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon will pay tribute to the life and legacy of Stephen Lawrence and the work of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust.

London Marathon Events and the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust have worked in partnership since 2018, when the race took place on the 25th anniversary of Stephen’s murder. Stephen loved running – he was a member of Cambridge Harriers and competed in the Mini London Marathon in 1988.

As part of its work, the Trust, which works to create a fairer and more inclusive society, supports young people from under-represented backgrounds to train and qualify as architects, the career Stephen himself hoped to enter. In 2019, London Marathon Events and the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust organised a competition for aspiring architects to design the Mile 18 marker and, in 2020, a competition was organised to design new mile markers for the entire course (this project has been postponed due to format of this year’s event).

Nearly 40 teams and individuals took part in the 2019 contest, which mirrored a professional architecture competition to help entrants develop skills and experience, and build their portfolios. The Mile 18 marker on the course was built from an award-winning design celebrating the life and legacy of Stephen, who was aged 18 when he was murdered.

Based on the concept ‘Because of Stephen we can’, it was created by three young London-based architects, Ayanna Blair-Ford, Shreeya Radia and Quincy Haynes. It incorporated brightly coloured plaques with quotes from young people describing the impact Stephen’s life and legacy has had on them and also projected a mix of music and brief audio clips of people talking about Stephen.

On Sunday 4 October, Mile 18 in each of the elite races will again pay tribute to the life of Stephen and our partnership with the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, with video displays along the course. In addition, Stephen’s Team of runners will be taking part in the virtual Virgin Money London Marathon to raise funds for the work of the Trust.

Hugh Brasher, Event Director of the Virgin Money London Marathon, said: “London Marathon Events is passionate about sport for all and inspiring activity in all ages and demographics. We are proud to support the work of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust and to celebrate Stephen’s life and legacy at Mile 18 in The 40th Race.”

Sonia Watson, Chief Executive of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, said: “The Virgin Money London Marathon is an iconic and inspirational event, watched by millions in the UK and around the world.

“The mile marker competitions have been a wonderful opportunity to develop and showcase the work of talented aspiring architects. We have also used them as inspiration in our schools careers programme, inspiring students about possible careers and the pathways into them.”

To find out more about the life and legacy of Stephen Lawrence, visit stephenlawrencetrust.org