The 40th London Marathon will no longer take place on 26 April amid growing COVID-19 concerns
Organisers of the Virign Money London Marathon have decided to postpone the race as concerns surrounding the recent coronavirus outbreak mount.
The prestigious event has been held in the spring every year since 1981, but will this year take place in autumn, postponed until 4 October.
The UK government has not yet advised against mass gatherings or sporting events, but organisers have followed the lead of other major running events, including the Paris and Rome marathons, and have postponed the race until later in the year.
The following email was sent out to runners:
We are getting in touch to let you know that we are postponing the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon, which was scheduled to take place on Sunday 26 April.
The 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon – The 40th Race – is now scheduled to take place on Sunday 4 October 2020.
The world is in an unprecedented situation grappling with a global pandemic of COVID-19 and public health is everyone’s priority.
We know how disappointing this news will be for so many – the runners who have trained for many months, the thousands of charities for which they are raising funds and the millions who watch the race every year.
We are extremely grateful for all the support we have received from City Hall; the London boroughs of Greenwich, Lewisham, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, the City of Westminster and the City of London; Transport for London; the emergency services; The Royal Parks; BBC TV and many others as we worked to find an alternative date. The 40th Race is scheduled to go ahead on Sunday 4 October 2020.
We know that there will be many, many questions from runners, charities and others and we ask you to please bear with us while we work through the detailed planning process to deliver the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon on its new scheduled date.
As well as emailing you, the runners, we will also email today the charities you’re running for to let them know the news. We will update you again via email by the end of next week at the latest. We will also post regular updates on our website and social media channels.
Information on your 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon place
Please note: the following details are for information only and you do not need to take any action at this point.
You will be able to use your 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon place in the rescheduled event on Sunday 4 October 2020 without any further payment.
All runners who have a place in the 2020 event and who choose not to take part (or are unable to do so) in the rescheduled event on Sunday 4 October will receive a refund of their 2020 entry fee or, if they wish, they may donate their 2020 entry fee to The London Marathon Charitable Trust.
Runners who do not take up one of the above options (with the exception of those who acquired their entry through a charity or sponsor) will be able to defer (rollover) their entry to the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon, scheduled for Sunday 25 April 2021, on payment of the entry fee for 2021, following the standard deferment process. Charity and sponsor places belong to those organisations, rather than the individual runner.
Charities and sponsors with runners who are unable to take part in the postponed race will be able to substitute other runners for the rescheduled 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 4 October. London Marathon Events will contact charities to outline the process and timescales in due course.
The Abbott World Marathon Majors Wanda Age Group World Championships will take place within the rescheduled event and qualified runners will be automatically entered into the rescheduled event. If qualified runners cannot take part on Sunday 4 October, they will be offered a full refund. It is not possible to defer these places to 2021.
Please note that runners who have already withdrawn from the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon and rolled over their entry to 2021 will be offered the option to take part on Sunday 4 October or to keep their entry rolled over to 2021.
We know how challenging this news will be for you after so many months of preparation for Sunday 26 April. We also understand that you will have many questions and we will be in contact with more information. There are no further details that we can give you at the moment.
Thank you for your understanding and we will be in touch.
Event Director, Virgin Money London Marathon”
For more information visit the official website.