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Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge will use the Nike Vaporfly Next % — the shoes he used during the Ineos 1:59 Challenge — to defend his London Marathon title on October 4.
At the same time, Kipchoge has welcomed Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele’s challenge at the London Marathon, but hastened to add that “every athlete who will compete in the race is a threat.”
“The shoes have not been banned hence I am looking forward to another great show on them as I seek my fourth victory on the course,” said Kipchoge during the launch of domestic tourism at the Serena Mara in the Maasai Mara, Narok County.
Kipchoge made history on October 12 last year when he became the first man to run a marathon (42 kilometres) in under two hours when he conquered the Ineos 159 Challenge in 1:59.41 using the new Nike Vapour Next % shoes.
Defending women’s London Marathon champion Brigid Kosgei also used similar shoe technology to set the women’s world marathon record in winning the Chicago Marathon in 2:14:04, just a day after Kipchoge’s Vienna exploits.
Then Bekele would come close to breaking Kipchoge’s world marathon record of 2:01:39 set by Kipchoge in Berlin in 2018 by three seconds when he won in Berlin in 2:01:last year. Nike's controversial Vaporfly range was the talk around the world with the feeling that it gave undue advantage to other runners owing to its sole technology. However, World Athletics — the global athletics governing body — said it will not ban the shoes but would instead institute tighter regulations around high-tech running shoes. Any new shoe technology developed after April 30 this year will have to be available on the open market for four months before an athlete can use it in competition.
World Athletics has also introduced an immediate indefinite ban on any shoes that have a sole thicker than 40 millimetres.
“Everybody is a threat, especially when you are on a running course. Personally, I don’t see everybody less or high,” said Kipchoge adding that the only threat or difference will be the unusual training and competition conditions. “I don’t know what everyone has been doing in training. For sure it will be a different race where it won’t have the usual large field and fans owing to Covid-19 regulations,” said Kipchoge, adding that it will feel good running in London, a course where he won in 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019.
Kipchoge said he has been training in Kaptagat, Elgeyo-Marakwet County, in isolation and in small groups but hopes that the government will reopen camps in the next week to enable them to train well.
“This is a non-contact sport and it’s my prayer that the government allows some camps to open,” said Kipchoge, who has occupied himself in reading books. He has also attended over 100 zoom meetings in the last four months from across the world.(08/11/2020) ⚡AMP
The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...more...
The 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon will not feature a mass race and will be an elite-only event, with Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele set to be among those racing on an enclosed looped course in St James’s Park on October 4.
Meanwhile, organisers have also confirmed that next year’s edition will not take place in April but will be moved to October 3 “to give the best chance for the mass race to return in 2021”.
The 2020 event will see elite racing take place within a “secure biosphere”, which organisers describe as a contained safe environment like that of Formula 1 and football, and as recently announced by World Athletics the times recorded in London will be eligible for Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualification.
While the men’s race is set to host the highly-anticipated clash between distance running greats Kipchoge and Bekele, world record-holder Brigid Kosgei has been announced for the women’s event, with David Weir and Manuela Schär set to lead the wheelchair fields.
Organisers are yet to announce the elite field sizes and how the races will be set off, including whether it will be by waves, but it has been confirmed that athletes will cross the same traditional finish line on The Mall after completing 19.8 laps of the St James’s Park course.
There will be no spectator access in order to maintain the biosphere, but BBC Sport plans to broadcast eight hours of coverage during the day.
UK Athletics had previously announced that next April’s London Marathon would be the GB Olympic trial race for the postponed Olympics in Tokyo but the national governing body will now work on new qualification plans following confirmation that the 2021 race has been moved from spring to autumn. Selection will still take place in 2021.
“It is a very fast course,” said event director Hugh Brasher, with London Marathon Events having experience of looped course racing as they were part of the organising team for the INEOS 1:59 Challenge event in Vienna last October, when Kipchoge broke the two-hour barrier.
“The course is faster than the current London Marathon course. It is not the fastest course, it is not as fast as Vienna, but it is a quick course. What we want to do is provide an environment that really excites the athletes. There is a lot of technology out there at the moment with which to do that, and how we can invite people in, in virtual reality, how we can create an atmosphere.
“It is important that we try and show that the sport can still take place. Sport plays such an incredible part in British psychology and the London Marathon reflects that in a way that very few, in fact no other, sports do. What we talk about is that it is the only event where you are taking part at the same time as the gods of the sport.
“At least here the elite athletes will be in London, they will be going head-to-head, and they will be able to celebrate the competition together. To be able to say that those athletes are coming to London is enormously exciting for the sport, for them, and we hope it adds to the inspiration and the feeling that we really want people to have on October 4, people who are on their own journey of that 26.2 miles.”(08/07/2020) ⚡AMP
The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...more...
An elite-only version of the London Marathon is set to be held on a revised route on Oct. 4, sources told Reuters on Thursday.
The race, which normally attracts almost 40,000 runners, was originally postponed due to the ongoing complications caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
However, it is now expected to be cancelled, with a short loop race on a fan-restricted circuit and featuring Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele replacing it.
The Boston, Berlin, New York and Chicago marathons have all been cancelled and though London always looked likely to join them, race director Hugh Brasher remained hopeful it would happen and had previously said a final decision would by made by Aug. 7.
An official announcement is now expected later on Thursday.
It is set to confirm that an elite-only race will be held on a multi-lap course in and around a central London park, with controlled access to limit fan numbers, and headlined by the only two men to have gone under two hours, two minutes for the marathon.
Defending champion Kipchoge, who became the first man to run a sub-two hour marathon in an unofficial race in Vienna last October, is seeking a record fifth London title.
He has won 11 of the 12 marathons he has started, including the 2016 Olympics in Rio and holds the official world record of two hours, one minute, 39 seconds.
Bekele has three Olympic and five world championship golds over 10,000 and 5,000 metres, distances in which he still holds the world record, as well as 11 cross country world championship golds.
He ran 2:01:41 in Berlin last October to miss Kipchoge's world record by two seconds.(08/06/2020) ⚡AMP
The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...more...
Decision on staging London Marathon 2020 has been pushed back until August 7, the organizers said on Monday.
The event, originally scheduled for April 26, was postponed to Oct. 4 after the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the international sporting calendar in March.
In an open letter to all participants on Monday, event director Hugh Brasher said the delay was due to a need for further consultation with local NHS Trusts, the emergency services and local authorities.
"We know how important the Virgin Money London Marathon is to you, to charities and in showing the world the wonderful spirit of London, of Great Britain and of our running community," he said.
"So please bear with us while we finish the extensive work we have been doing to try to enable us to run together, safely.
"I will be in contact with our final decision and the options available to you no later than Friday, Aug. 7."
The cancellation of September's Great North Run raised concerns about the London Marathon going ahead due to the challenges faced by organizers in implementing social distancing protocols.
The London Marathon routinely attracts close to 40,000 participants and this year's race was set to pit the world's fastest runners Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele against one another.
The event is last of the World Marathon Majors still hoping to be held this year after Boston, Berlin, New York and Chicago shelved plans for their 2020 races.(07/27/2020) ⚡AMP
World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge says training on the track is crucial as he guns for a fast time at the London marathon in October if the race is allowed to be staged.
Kipchoge, in a webinar interview with local media outlets, said he is fully immersed in training and eagerly awaiting the government to confirm when training camps will be open and athletes allowed to train normally.
"I hope for something special in London. It will be fast," Kipchoge said in t interview on Friday from his hometown of Eldoret located in Kenya's North Rift region.
The Olympic marathon champion said that he will do everything possible to be ready for the London Marathon on October 4 with organizers aiming to stage an elite-only race due to COVID-19 challenges.
"Save for Geoffrey Kamworor, who was injured in an accident, my entire team is ready to return to training camp for the preparations ahead of the season reopening. But I am waiting for the government and hope the Cabinet Secretary for Sports (Amina Mohamed) will allow us all back in camp," said Kipchoge.
He is currently working on his speed and alternates from road training to track sessions.
"Track sessions are for me and my team really crucial. It helps us to make our body maintain a high pace and it actually opens the body to feel how hard training is. To other marathoners, it's not important and they see it as not beneficial," said Kipchoge.
His coach Patrick Sang, said it is important for athletes to focus on endurance training.
"In running, there are three things that you need as an athlete. You need strength, endurance and of course, you need speed," Sang said.(07/10/2020) ⚡AMP
I am sure earlier this week you will have seen the news that the Great North Run was sadly, but understandably, cancelled.
There has been much speculation that this means the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon will also be cancelled. However, it doesn’t.
All road races have unique challenges. These might be transporting people to the start; transporting them from the finish; the density of runners on the course; the density and movement of spectators; providing runners with appropriate medical care and facilities such as loos and drinks; dealing with the logistics of road closures and reopenings – the challenges are always different for every race.
The team at London Marathon Events has been looking at the logistics of the Virgin Money London Marathon and coming up with innovative ways to socially distance the event.
We have also been working with other mass participation event organisers in the UK, including the Great Run Company and Human Race, to make recommendations to the UK Government on how mass participation events can return.
As I write, there are currently just over 15 weeks before the planned date of our 40th Race on Sunday 4 October. Therefore, on the usual timescale for our event, we are currently at the equivalent of the first week of January.
That means there is still plenty of time to train and there is neither a need, nor should there be a desire, to be at your peak fitness yet.
We still don’t know whether we will be able run together, walk together and be together on that journey of 26.2 miles on 4 October. Almost every day we hear hopeful news from other countries and we hear tales of despair.
However, what we do know is that we have hope, desire and ingenuity. Hope that the world will have found a way through Covid-19 by October. Desire to show the positive effects of running a marathon, running for communities and good causes. Ingenuity of thought, technology and people.
So please, focus on your own health and the health of those around you. Focus on running and exercise. It is great for you physically and mentally.
I assure you that whatever decision we take about 4 October, it will be taken in line with our values and with the responsibility we have to you, our runners, our charities, our sponsors, our volunteers, our medics, our communities and our city.
Just over 40 years ago, on 26 October 1979, my father Chris Brasher, the co-founder of the London Marathon, started his column in The Observer with these words:
To believe this story, you must believe that the human race can be one joyous family working together, laughing together, achieving the impossible…
From those words, the first London Marathon was born.
While some may think what we are trying to do on Sunday 4 October is impossible, we will not give up hope.
The 40th Race should be a day that shows the best of humanity. A togetherness, a joy and a celebration of everything we treasure.
I look forward to that day.
Thank you for your patience and understanding. We will be in touch again on 28 July.(06/19/2020) ⚡AMP
A decision on the fate of this year's London Marathon, which has already been postponed from April to October will be made on Sunday.
Former British long-distance runner Brendan Foster has said it will be "extremely difficult" to stage this year's London Marathon amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Foster is the founder of the Great North Run and Monday saw this year's edition of that race, due to take place on September 13, canceled as a result of COVID-19.
A decision on whether this year's London Marathon — already postponed from April to October — is expected on Sunday June 21.
"Mass participation events in the form that ours takes, and the London Marathon takes, are clearly going to be extremely difficult to hold and it's going to be up to us to find a formula for the future," said Foster.
He added it would have been impossible to make the race virus secure amid the U.K.'s current two-meter social distancing regulations, as it would have meant a start line that "would have stretched from Newcastle to Berwick."
Foster is now looking to the 2021 edition, saying: "It's in our DNA to run, and to run in groups. We have been doing it for two million years, so there's no way that a pandemic like this is going to blow away man's endeavour in terms of running, and running together."(06/17/2020) ⚡AMP
British Athletics confirms there will be no further marathon team pre-selections ahead of the rescheduled Olympic Games
British athletes will race for Olympic Games places at next April’s Virgin Money London Marathon, provided athletics competition has safely returned by then following the coronavirus pandemic.
This year’s London Marathon had been due to incorporate the GB trial for the 2020 Games in Japan before the event in the UK capital was moved to October 4, with the postponement of the Olympics until July and August 2021 announced a short while later.
Sharing the news on Twitter, the UKA Athlete Commission said: “Last month saw us undertake a consultation process with some of GB’s top marathon runners and coaches regarding selection for Tokyo 2020. Today’s announcement confirms London Marathon April 2021 will be the trial race."
In a statement, the national governing body said: “British Athletics can today confirm that, subject to the safe return to competition for the sport of athletics, the Virgin Money London Marathon in April 2021 will be the trial race for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
“In addition there will be no further marathon team pre-selections.”
The Olympic marathon and race walk events are still set to take place in Sapporo, rather than Tokyo, in 2021, with Callum Hawkins the sole athlete to have been pre-selected for the British team.
Despite impressive marathon performances by the likes of Charlotte Purdue, Steph Twell and Jess Piasecki last year, no British women gained pre-selection.
There had been questions as to whether the rescheduled London Marathon, should it take place as planned in October, would still incorporate the GB Olympic trial but it looked unlikely following World Athletics’ decision to suspend the Olympic qualification period meaning that results achieved between April 6 and December will not count as Tokyo 2020 entry marks.
Last month event director Hugh Brasher highlighted the uncertainty regarding the running of the 40th edition London Marathon on October 4 and a further update is due from organisers on June 21.
On Monday it was confirmed that this year’s Great North Run half-marathon, which had been due to take place on September 13, has been cancelled.(06/16/2020) ⚡AMP
Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge took two weeks to get over the news of the London Marathon postponement, it was revealed on Wednesday.
The race was scheduled for April, with Kipchoge the defending champion, before it was postponed and rescheduled for October due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“It was painful for me when London was postponed,” Kipchoge told Runner’s World.
“I was at peak fitness before that race. I took two weeks to be sad, and then I went back to training. This is life.”
Kipchoge set the men’s marathon record of 2:01:39 at the Berlin Marathon in 2018, and in October last year became the first man to break two-hours for the 42.2km distance in an unofficial challenge run in Vienna.
Known as the Ineos159 Challenge, Kipchoge with a series of different pacemakers clocked 1:59:40 to become the first person to break two hours for the marathon distance.
This weekend, Kipchoge will be taking part in a virtual 42km relay event called “M A R A T H O N”.
Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele, Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei and Kenyan Geoffrey Kamworor will also be participating.
That high-powered quartet will take part in a the team event on Saturday and Sunday which invites runners from around the world to join teams of four to complete a full marathon together, alone.(06/06/2020) ⚡AMP
Event director issues a message to runners who are targeting the rescheduled race on October 4
Event director Hugh Brasher has written an open letter to runners set to take on the Virgin Money London Marathon on October 4, highlighting the uncertainty and decisions to be made regarding the running of the 40th edition race.
The iconic marathon was originally scheduled for April 26 but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
When that decision was announced in March, organisers were confident that the event would be able to take place in the autumn but in his recent update, Brasher states: “this is a world where things are changing so rapidly on a day to day basis and that is now far from certain”.
“The London Marathon has always been so much more than ‘just a marathon’,” he adds.
In an interview last month, Brasher explained how scenarios for the rescheduled race are ever-evolving.
“There are so many scenarios and, in reality, nothing is off the table,” he said.
In his letter to runners published on Wednesday, he adds: “We know that you would like certainty. We understand and acknowledge that you want to know if you should start serious training or restart your fundraising campaign.
“However, much as we would like to, we cannot offer you certainty.
“The London Marathon Events team is working hard on many different possible scenarios and, as circumstances change, we come up with new ideas.
“We know we have a huge responsibility to you, our runners, but we know that responsibility goes much further. It extends to our charities which, through the sweat of a record 42,549 finishers, raised an incredible £66.4 million in 2019. It extends to our staff, our elite athletes, our volunteers, our medics, our communities and our city.
“Every decision we make will be in line with our values. This is about far more than putting on a marathon. We need to be sure it is right for society.”(05/24/2020) ⚡AMP
Where will the next marathon world record be set? This autumn, the London Marathon is aiming for the duel between top stars Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele. Kipchoges unofficial world record of less than two hours should not be in danger. However, the Berlin Marathon, notorious for world records, cannot take place as planned.
The Corona crisis has also had far-reaching consequences for the marathon scene. The London Marathon, for example, had to be postponed from 26 April until 4 October.
However, it is still unclear whether the event will also be open to amateur runners or if only professionals like world record holder Eliud Kipchoge are allowed to compete. According to "Athletics International", the organizers have asked all athletes originally invited for April to come back for the fall date. This includes the Kenyan Kipchoge.
He holds the official marathon world record of 2:01:39 hours (Berlin Marathon 2018) as well as the unofficial world record of 1:59:40 hours at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna 2019 under laboratory conditions with constantly changing pacemakers and drinks and food available at all times.
Kenenisa Bekele, who missed the official world record at the 2019 Berlin Marathon by only two seconds, is also expected to compete in London. A direct duel between the two top runners could come to happen in October. For Bekele, an improvement of the official world record could be possible.
"With good weather conditions and if we both worked together on the pace, a time in the range of the world record might have been possible", Athletics International quotes hin speaking about the cancelled event in April.(05/12/2020) ⚡AMP
The postponement of the London Marathon from April to October due to the coronavirus pandemic hit Vincent Kipchumba hard.
Kipchumba, who is the reigning Amsterdam Marathon champion, was delighted to have been included in the elite men’s list and had been following a program that he hoped would give him a chance to challenge for glory in Europe’s capital center.
“It was also going to give me a chance to make some money. When I heard it was postponed I felt traumatised," said Kipchumba.
“At least the race was postponed to October but we are still not sure if the virus will have been contained by then. It’s my prayer that things get back to normal because athletics is my career, and to many others out there.”
Kipchumba, had been training in Kapsabet, Nandi County under the watchful eye of his coach Claudio Berardelli. He said that even though the London race had been pushed back by six months it will not diminish his desire to make his debut in a Majors race.
“When I was informed that I will be competing in London Marathon, I was happy because this was a dream come true for me. I have been eyeing a place in one of the biggest marathons in the world,” said Kipchumba.
He also said that he will be privileged to compete with some of the best athletes in the world over the distance.
“Competing with the world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge and Berlin Marathon champion Kenenisa Bekele is something I even didn’t think will be possible but here we are waiting for the big day,” said Kipchumba.
However, just like many other elite athletes, the coronavirus has played havoc with his schedule.
He was due to participate in the Roma Ostia Half Marathon, as part of his build up for London, but the race was cancelled.(05/11/2020) ⚡AMP
New York marathon champion Joyciline Jepkosgei will target a better performance to improve her time when competition resumes in the 2020 season.
Jepkosgei, who had hopes of returning to the marathon course in London in April, has had to chill at home and venture into farming after the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation or postponement of almost all competitions this year.
"I had plans to run in London on April 26, but as you know that event has been pushed back to October 4 and that brings another challenge because I had other plans for that period of the year," Jepkosgei said on Thursday from Iten.
Jopkosgei clocked 2:22:38 in New York, but improving that time is something she is seriously thinking about. "I want to run faster," she said. "I know I can improve on my time."
"However, the cancellations of the London race hit me hard because I had done well in training knowing the caliber of opponents to expect. But the choice was not mine to cancel, what they did was in good faith and for the good of everyone," she added.
Now Jepkosgei has to find some inspiration to help her go through the period where there is no competition and training is limited.
"The challenge is to maintain my physiotherapy schedules, eating healthy foods and preventing any stress at this point. To remain healthy, I have chosen to deny myself several tasty foods because I have to always check my diet," she added.(04/30/2020) ⚡AMP
What began with a conversation between four people, who were due to take part in yesterday's marathon around the streets of the capital before it was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, escalated.
The quartet spread the word among fellow members and friends of Keighley & Craven Athletic Club and Craven Energy Triathlon Club.
And 41 entrants – equating, with relay teams, to more than 100 people – each pounded the 26.2-mile-distance around their gardens and yards yesterday.
They 'lined-up' on a virtual Zoom start line at 9.30am for the challenge, which so far has raised around £13,000.
Organiser Gary Chapman, 52, of Haworth, said the response had been "remarkable".
"I have been a member of both clubs for many years and I've never been as proud with so many people stepping-up at no notice to support Manorlands," he added.
"I help with the Keighley & Craven club's junior section and was inspired throughout the day with photos/videos of our wonderfully-talented youngsters pinging their way through to me on WhatsApp as I ran the entire 26.2 miles myself in my garden – it got me through the pain, with 6,400ft of ascent and 17,400 garden steps to negotiate in 372 laps!"
Also among those taking part were junior coaches Sue Straw and Tony Booth, with their children Dylan and Maizie. Tony ran the whole marathon in four hours 26 minutes, while the rest of the family completed it in relay formation. Sue also organised for a number of juniors to complete a virtual relay.
Dick Ballantine, 54, a headteacher from Haworth well-known for some of his long-distance challenges, stepped-up to the mark. He ran around his field, occasionally being accompanied by daughter Poppy on her horse. "Despite a nasty injury at six miles he completed the next 20 in lots of pain to show his support for Manorlands," said Gary.
Other participants included Pablo and Mel Vasquez and their children Marcela, six, Santi, ten, and Seb, 12, who between them completed the full marathon distance. Pablo said: "It was a fantastic family day for a great cause."(04/27/2020) ⚡AMP
The two were due to compete on Sunday in London marathon (April 26), but the race, like many across the globe, has been postponed. Organizers have picked on Oct. 4 as the new dates if the health situation allows.
Cheruiyot, who has recovered from a tendon injury, which ruled her out of the Berlin marathon last year, says despite there being no competition across the sports spectrum, she was happy to be healthy and said she will live to compete again soon.
"Today, there will be no London marathon, but we will be back in action soon. Stay positive and stay healthy," said Cheruiyot on Sunday from Eldoret.
On his side, Kipchoge, who is unable to train with his teammates, says the virus will be defeated and sports will flourish yet again.
"We will return to action stronger and with a lot of hope," said Kipchoge.
"The important thing is to remain focused and disciplined. We have a war to fight against the coronavirus, but we have a responsibility to remain healthy and safe."
The two were also named in the Kenya team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics before it was pushed back to 2021.
But with no guarantees, Cheruiyot hopes to remain injury free and will always honor a call to represent the country in the Olympics. However, Cheruiyot is non-committal on her fitness when the new dates for the Tokyo Olympics.
"One year is a long time and we want to be in our best shape and compete. But we will be patient and see how the season unfolds. The important thing for now is to remain safe, there are no immediate plans on sports and we have to live with that. Until then, we just train as often as we can under the health guidelines," he said.
Already the London Marathon race director Hugh Brasher has said that while he hopes the London Marathon will take place as normal on Oct. 4, it might have to be slimmed down to an elite only race.
"But in today's society, you can never say never. We are trying to stay really agile and to keep scenario planning. And at the moment, I don't want to discount anything until it becomes really impossible," he said.
Brasher also would not confirm whether Kipchoge and Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele had signed up for October's revised race.(04/27/2020) ⚡AMP
The race director of the London Marathon has refused to rule out staging the event as an elite-only race in the autumn if social distancing rules make it impossible to run as normal.
Hugh Brasher told the Guardian that while organisers still hoped to hold the event with 45,000 mass participants on 4 October, they were now scenario-planning around 10 other options because of the global pandemic.
“The flame is still burning,” said Brasher. “And is there hope? Absolutely. But you have to do what’s right for society. You usually have 750,000 people out in central London watching 45,000 runners. Then there’s the medics, the 6,000 volunteers and the transport system. There’s masses to take into account when making any decision.”
When asked directly whether the London Marathon – which was due to take place this Sunday before being pushed back – might have to be only for elite athletes if social restrictions had not eased completely, Brasher replied: “Honestly, I don’t know. But in today’s society, you can never say never. We are trying to stay really agile and to keep scenario planning. And at the moment, I don’t want to discount anything until it becomes really impossible.”
Last month’s Tokyo marathon was staged as an elite-only race, with the field reduced to just 300 runners and the streets largely deserted. Most major spring marathons subsequently decided to postpone their races to the autumn – but those events also look in doubt with no vaccine in sight and, ominously, the Berlin marathon has already cancelled its race in September.
“Our decision will be made by the back end of August at the latest,” explained Brasher. “It will be based on the government guidelines, and what we and society think is right and what feels right.”
Brasher would not confirm whether Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele, who were due to meet on Sunday in a clash for the ages, had signed up for October’s revised race. However he told the Guardian: “We always want to get the most competitive race. This was going to be the 40th London marathon, and its greatest race. It was going to be spectacular. But we want to make October 4 spectacular too. So that’s what our focus is.”
Last year the London Marathon raised £66.4m for charities, again making it the biggest single-day fundraising event in Britain. And while Sunday’s race will not take place, organisers are still hoping that thousands of people will spend the day raising and donating money for charities as part of a nationwide 2.6 Challenge – in which people tackle something related to the numbers two and six.
More than £1.5m has already been raised for the campaign, and Brasher said he hoped it would prove a lifeline for many charities which usually rely heavily on the race to fund their work.
“The London Marathon is normally about so many scripts and so many stories,” said Brasher. “It’s the greatest athletes in the world with the everyday athlete – who are doing this incredible challenge with the gods of the sport such as Kipchoge, Bekele and Brigid Kosgei, on the same day, on the same course, with the same crowd. In fact, the everyday person gets more people watching them. That’s the incredible thing. And, of course, they are raising so much money for charity too.”
The two of the world best marathon runners, will be at their homes in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Eldoret, Kenya with their families.
Kipchoge reminisces that it was this week seven years ago that he made his debut in a marathon in Hamburg, Germany, clocking an impressive 2:05.30.
"On this day in 2013, I ran the very first marathon of my life. The memories of my debut in Hamburg are actually really good, I won this marathon in 2:05:30. It has been a beautiful journey so far," Kipchoge said on Wednesday.
But with the prospect of the two clashing in London on Sunday now impossible, Kipchoge will focus on remaining fit for future competitions.
London would have been their fifth time racing together in a marathon. Kipchoge has won all four previous encounters.
However, for Bekele (2:01:41), he believes a clash between the two would serve as the highlight of the track and field program, especially should the pair be included in their respective teams for the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games.
It's anticipated Kenenisa will return to the Olympics after his shock exclusion by the Ethiopian Athletics Federation for Rio 2016.
Kipchoge has already secured his spot in the Kenya team and will do everything to defend his title.
"One year is not a long time," Bekele, 37, a three-time Olympic champion, albeit on the track, told the Olympic Channel regarding the Games postponement to July 2021.
"I hope I can stay in good shape, disciplined, because one year is just tomorrow. The most important thing is to stay healthy and stay fit."
Bekele, who has overcome an Achilles tendon injury, believes he can shave more than a minute off his personal best, and even lower the official world record to less than two hours.
The current mark of 2:01.39 was set by Kipchoge in Berlin in 2018.
Only Kipchoge has run under two hours, albeit in closed conditions and with aids, at the Vienna course back in October, where he posted a time of 1:59.40.
"I'm sure, it's possible to run that time [two hours]," Bekele told the Olympic Channel.
"I can run maybe faster than the world record, maybe close to two hours or something. It's down to the weather conditions and a good course."(04/23/2020) ⚡AMP
Col Bignell, from Co Down, said he intends to raise money for the health service with his 26.2-mile run.
Col Bignell had been looking forward to travelling to the capital this weekend for the world famous run, but with the event postponed to October, Mr Bignell decided to run in his living room, which will involved going back and forth thousands of times.
The 26-year-old, originally from London, dared his Facebook friends to give him the push to do it by giving his post 260 likes.
He said he intends to raise money for the health service with the 26.2-mile run.
“I just thought I’d give something a bit different a go,” he told the PA news agency.
“I’ve marked out the space and it’s around 12 foot, so I’ve worked out it’ll probably take me about 7,000 back and forth, which is quite a lot. I’ll be running laps of my front room around 11,500 times.
“But I’ve seen Tom Moore and the lady who did the stairs and thought, if they can do it, why not do something myself.”
Retail worker Mr Bignell said he wanted to mark the day he had been due to run his first marathon.
“The London Marathon is still going ahead in October, but I thought it would be nice to have something on that day to mark the day I would have done it.
“The new date is two days after my wedding, hopefully it all still goes ahead. My fiancee thinks I’m crazy.”
Mr Bignell said he is aiming to raise £260.20 for the NHS with the length of the marathon being 26.2 miles, and has already raised £140 towards that goal.
“Any more would be great but that is the minimum I am hoping to raise,” he said.(04/22/2020) ⚡AMP
A runner will be taking on the entire 26-mile distance of the London Marathon in her parents' back garden in Co Armagh to raise money for the NHS.
Natalie Bowbanks, from Tandragee, has already smashed her £1,000 fundraising target as she aims to run 2,096 laps of the garden on April 26.
No stranger to marathons, the practice manager at My Dentist in Portadown is a pacer at the Belfast City Marathon and has competed in 64 events worldwide, but this will be her first in Tandragee.
Natalie has run marathons in New York, Paris, Berlin, Lanzarote and Dublin, as well as completing the Belfast City Marathon for the past 10 years.
The disappointment after the cancellation of the London and Belfast events because of coronavirus inspired the 38-year-old to help out the NHS.
So far, Natalie has raised more than £1,200 and is thinking of increasing her target to £2,000.
"I knew when London was cancelled I would probably cover the distance anyway, but I didn't think of the back garden at that stage," she explained.
"Obviously, there were going to be certain restrictions, so I kind of just pinched the idea from other people that I had seen all over the world who I would follow on social media.
I just thought that I would follow suit.
"I don't specifically know where the money will go in the NHS, but I have a few friends that work as nurses and doctors.
"Hopefully the money can go to personal protective equipment or wherever it's needed."
Natalie set up her GoFundMe page on Friday evening and raised £500 within 24 hours.(04/15/2020) ⚡AMP
Kenyan runner Daniel Kinyua Wanjiru, a former winner of the London Marathon, has been suspended due to irregularities in his biological passport, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said on Tuesday.
The 27-year-old won the prestigious London race in 2017 and was fifth in the 2018 New York Marathon.
"The AIU has provisionally suspended marathon specialist Daniel Kinyua Wanjiru of Kenya with immediate effect for an Athlete Biological Passport violation under the @worldathletics anti-doping rules," the AIU said on Twitter.
He was suspended for "use of a prohibited substance/method".
With the charge having been issued, Wanjiru will now wait for his case to be heard.
The 27-year-old, who beat Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele to the 2017 London Marathon title, has a marathon PB of 2:05:21, set when winning the Amsterdam Marathon in 2016.
In a statement released by his management company Volare Sports, Wanjiru protested his innocence, adding that he has “never used doping”.
Wanjiru is also quoted as saying: “This statement comes from the heart. I am clean in the sports I do. The ABP (athlete biological passport) finding is confusing and frustrating me. Specialists have informed me about how this can happen and I have come to realise there can be hundreds of reasons found why HB is fluctuating.
“I feel I am already seen as a sinner of doping, but I am not. I am innocent.
“It’s very painful what’s happening to me now. I’ve always believed that those athletes who are suspended because of a doping violation, were indeed guilty of what they did. But I’ve realised that being charged of guilt is just easy and now proving being unguilty is hard.
“I stand for clean sports. My results of the past came through hard work only. I have never used doping. We are currently investigating the case. Knowing I have never used anything, I have faith everything will be all right.”(04/15/2020) ⚡AMP
You have to be nuts to sign up for a marathon: training for months in the rain, the dark and the skin-stinging wind.
And all for what? To hang a bit of metal round your neck while nursing damaged knees, blistered feet and lost toenails.
So perhaps it is only to be expected that, with marathons cancelled worldwide (Paris, Manchester, Rome, Boston and counting), and with governments pleading for us to stay at home, all those stir-crazy runners would funnel their obsession somewhere else, somewhere more local, somewhere… like their garden.
In the past six weeks, thwarted would-be marathon men and women all over the world have launched a new craze for long-distance running in the confines of their own homes.
Chinese runner Pan Shancu, 44, was one of the first. On February 14, under lockdown in Hangzhou, Eastern China, the massage therapist ran 50km (31 miles) in four hours 48 minutes, lapping two treatment beds in his sitting room 6,250 times. ‘I could not bear sitting down any more,’ he said.
Now the trend has been embraced by us Brits. When the London Landmarks Half Marathon was cancelled last month, the organisers encouraged competitors to run locally instead.
Deborah Meredith, a 40-year-old mum-of-three and lunchtime supervisor at her local primary school in Telford, Shropshire, duly ran the full distance in her garden. ‘The neighbours thought I was crazy, but, with my three boys cheering me on, I put on my running number and did 250 laps.’
And now I too am officially a proud RFH (running-from-home) nutter. With my hard-won opportunity to run in the London Marathon postponed until October 4, last week I ran a half marathon in my back garden.
This is not a big space. In fact it is so small, my Endomondo tracker failed to register the distance I was running — something I discovered 15 minutes in.
So with a tape measure, my son worked out our postage-stamp lawn (approximately 5m squared) had a 13.5m circumference.
This meant that in order to run the requisite 21.1km or 13.1 miles I would have to complete 1,555.5 laps. One and a half thousand!
The nation’s favourite PE teacher Joe Wicks provided the warm-up session online, which I completed alongside my eight-year-old daughter.
Then I set off — past the choisya (annoyingly bushy), the olive trees (thankfully trimmed) and the vegetable patch (the lettuce had self-seeded on the lawn, I noticed), before reaching the home straight of our pot-lined patio.
And then I ran round again. And again. And again. And again.
By lap 1,343, I could feel a blister forming and my ankles ached from the strain of leaning inwards. Yes, I could grab energy chews off a garden table to keep my spirits up, and it was a relief to chuck my sweatshirt onto the patio rather than knotting it around my waist as I usually do. But the tedium was starting to kick in.
When I finally limped over the finish line, I’d been running for two hours 29 minutes. A personal worst. And yet, I’d done it: I’d run a half marathon. The garden may never be the same again — as my husband keeps telling me — but that’s not the point.
As the lockdown continues, other disappointed would-be marathon runners will be carving out more courses in their homes.(04/09/2020) ⚡AMP
A Long Eaton dad plans to run more than 13 miles up and down his street for two charities close to his heart after the London Marathon was postponed.
Pete Collins, 35, of Charlton Avenue, has managed to get the whole neighbourhood involved, raising more than £1,200 in just a matter of days.
He hopes some residents will be cheering on the dad-of-one from their gardens or bedroom windows.
Mr Collins, a sales manager, lost his dad Stephen Collins, 58, to Motor Neurone Disease in 2008 and then his auntie just three years later to the same illness.
He has been raising money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association for more than 10 years and he planned to run the London Marathon in honour of his family on April 26.
But when it was postponed due to the coronavirus lockdown, he started to think of new ways for how he could raise money for the charity.
After a Whatsapp group was formed with around 75 percent of residents from the 45 homes on his street, he discovered some were undergoing cancer treatment.
It was then he decided to set himself the challenge to run 13.1 miles - which is a half marathon - up and down the street for both Motor Neurone Disease Association and Cancer Research.
He said: "I want to cover a minimum of half a marathon, which is about 110 to 115 lengths of the street.
"I had been training for the London Marathon since last August.
"But a week before lock down, the marathon was postponed. It knocked me, because I had been training and raised money.
"I did not know what to do but I kept running.
"Since the lock down, we have a street Whatsapp and it was being used for a range of things - 'I am going to the shops, does anyone need something?' or my 'kids are doing this craft exercise' - it was about sharing ideas.
"I thought I could do something here and engage with the street as well."
He pitched the idea to his wife first and then "put it to the street" who got behind the idea immediately.
He is now carrying out the challenge on Saturday, April 11 from around 9am.(04/07/2020) ⚡AMP
Mo Farah has explained how he came to change his account when questioned in 2015 about taking the supplement L-carnitine before the 2014 London Marathon.
A BBC Panorama documentary aired last Monday revealed that Farah was interviewed by investigators from the US Anti-Doping Agency in 2015 as part of its investigation into his former coach Alberto Salazar and asked whether he had been given L-carnitine before the previous year’s London Marathon.
Farah was tested six days after that race and the BBC reported that, despite listing a number of other products and medicines, he failed to record L-carnitine on his doping control form. In transcripts obtained by the BBC, Farah denies having been given the injection in the initial 2015 interview with Usada.
Panorama reported he then met the UK Athletics head of distance running, Barry Fudge, immediately after the interview and returned to the room as the investigators were preparing to leave. At this point, Farah, who won 5,000 metres and 10,000m gold at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games, told them he had been given the injection.
In an interview with the Sunday Mirror, Farah explains: “I was questioned for five hours. I said one thing and then other things got said and now it’s made out like I’ve done wrong, but if you know how it happened then it’s easier to understand. When I came out I said to Barry, ‘Hey mate, they kept asking me about this supplement. What’s that?’
“He said, ‘Yeah, it’s this, you did take it’, so I went straight back in and told them. I forgot, but as soon as I was told I ran back in. If I was a liar, why would I go straight back in? I said, ‘Look, I genuinely forgot, I didn’t know that. Now I do.’”
Farah said when he was questioned by investigators he thought he had only been given magnesium injections. “I was 100% convinced I hadn’t taken it [L-carnitine],” Farah said. “In my mind I hadn’t taken anything else apart from magnesium. I put magnesium on the doping control form.
“I can sleep at night knowing I’ve done nothing wrong. I love representing my country, making my country proud and doing what I do best because it is a gift and that’s why I do it with a smile. But it’s not fair what comes with it. It’s not fair on my kids and my family. It’s just not right. It’s depressing. Mentally and physically it’s had an effect on me.”
L-carnitine is not a prohibited substance under Wada rules. Injections and infusions of it were permitted within Wada rules in 2014 provided the volume was below 50 millilitres every six hours. The permitted volume is now 100ml every 12 hours.
Salazar, Farah’s former coach at the Nike Oregon Project, was handed a four-year ban by Usada in October last year for doping violations, though he has appealed to the court of arbitration for sport.
Farah, who ended his relationship with the American in 2017, has never failed a drugs test and is not accused of any wrongdoing.(03/19/2020) ⚡AMP
Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele (left) and Kenya's marathon world-record holder Eliud Kipchoge will have to wait until October 4 to face off.
The London Marathon scheduled to take place on April 26 has been postponed to October 4 due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The organisers made the announcement on Friday, with event director Hugh Brasher citing health as a priority as the world continues to battle with containing the virus.
“The world is in an unprecedented situation grappling with a global pandemic of COVID-19 and public health is everyone’s priority,” Brasher said.
World record-holder Eliud Kipchoge was among the first top athletes to react to the news of the cancellation of the marathon on social media, expressing his disappointment while still sharing a message of positivity.
"It is unfortunate news that the London Marathon has been postponed but I fully respect the decision made by the organization as safeguarding the health of the world always takes our top priority. To the thousands of runners who with me, have devoted the last months of our lives towards this goal I would like to say: Be proud of the work you have put into this journey, keep smiling and seek your next goal on the horizon to continue running in a smooth and positive way. I hope to share the starting line with you again soon," said Kipchoge.
Eliud Kipchoge and Brigid Kosgei pose for a picture with Prince Harry while holding their awards in last year's marathon.
Kipchoge and Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele were set to go head to head in a contest for the ages, as was Kenya’s women's record-holder Brigid Kosgei.
Kipchoge broke the two-hour marathon barrier in Vienna last October in the INEOS 1:59 Challenge.
The marathon was intended to be an Olympic qualifying event for Team Great Britain. British Athletics said it would hold a separate marathon trial for the Tokyo Games “in a closed location, with limited numbers” potentially around April 25 to 27.
The Boston Marathon, another one of the six World Marathon Majors, has also been postponed to mid-September.
These developments come days after the Kenyan Ministry of Sports banned athletes from travelling to any international sports events for the next month following the global outbreak of Covid-19.
The decision to push this year’s London Marathon to October 4, means the race will now take place on the same day as the Cardiff Half Marathon.
Brasher, thanked every institution that came to support them during this time and expressed optimism of finding the best dates for future races.
“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, October 4, 2020.”
Here are the new major marathon schedules:
Boston Marathon – September 14
Berlin Marathon – September 27
London Marathon – October 4
Chicago Marathon – October 10(03/15/2020) ⚡AMP
World record-holder Eliud Kipchoge on Thursday took to social media to express his disappointment over the cancellation of the 2020 London Marathon amid coronavirus outbreak.
According to the event organizers, the 40th edition of the race, which was due to take place on April 26, will now be held on October 4.
Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele were among the men's elite names due to take part, as was women's record-holder Brigid Kosgei.
Following the postponement, the fastest marathon runner immediately expressed his disappointment, sharing a photo of himself crossing the line of the 2019 London Marathon, with a caption:
"It is unfortunate news that the @londonmarathon has been postponed but I fully respect the decision made by the organization as safeguarding the health of the world always takes our top priority.”
He also shared a message of positivity to all the runners disappointed by the news.
"To the thousands of runners who with me, have devoted the last months of our lives towards this goal I would like to say: Be proud of the work you have put into this journey, keep smiling and seek your next goal on the horizon to continue running in a smooth and positive way. I hope to share the starting line with you again soon," he added.
The decision comes three days after the Ministry of Sports banned Kenyan athletes from travelling to any international Sports events for the next 30 days following the global outbreak of Covid-19 (coronavirus).
Already a number of other high-profile sporting events, including marathons in Paris and Boston, have been called off due to the Covid-19 pandemic.(03/14/2020) ⚡AMP
The London Marathon has been postponed to Oct 4 today as the coronavirus chaos escalates, sources say.
It comes after cases in the UK climbed to 798 this afternoon as the deadly bug continues to infect the nation.
Sources close to the London Marathon told The Sun the event was due to be called off this afternoon.
The expected confirmation will be a blow to athletes who have been training hard to hit the capital's streets next month.
It had already been feared the annual event, which draws in runners and spectators from all over the globe, would be affected as the outbreak worsened.
The 40th London Marathon was due to take place on April 26, with Health Secretary Matt Hancock already warning last week it could be restricted or cancelled.
Earlier today the Premier League also bowed to pressure and announced they are suspending the season for three weeks amid the coronavirus outbreak.
It comes with the football world in crisis as Uefa also announced ALL Champions League and Europa League matches scheduled for next week have been postponed.
Cities and towns across Britain appeared deserted at times today as people worked from home and avoided shops and transport links over concerns about the virus.(03/13/2020) ⚡AMP
Since running a marathon PB of 2:31:00 in London last year to qualify for the World Championships in Doha, luck has not been on Tish Jones’ side and she has endured injuries, a bike crash and a kidney stone problem among other things.
Speaking from her training base in South Africa, she says she has had “a bumpy road” in recent months – and she is not exaggerating.
The build-up to her first GB appearance in Doha went well, with much of her training done in Colorado, but just before going to the holding camp in Dubai her carbon fiber bike was stolen in Teddington – a blow for an athlete who enjoys mixing cycling with running.
She was then forced to pull out of the marathon in Doha in October with a leg muscle injury.
Then just days later she came off her mountain bike while riding along a trail and broke a bone in her arm and cut her face badly in the crash. This led to her arm being in a sling for a while but she battled on training with Tokyo selection in her sights.
However, 2020 then began with her father suffering a major heart attack and her own training has been troubled by a kidney stone problem.
“It’s been a bit physically and mentally exhausting lately,” she says with some understatement.
Based in Cape Town and covering several hundred kilometers every week on her bike, in addition to running, Jones is used to taking the unconventional route. In her younger days she was not a keen runner at school and instead spent more time horse riding before eventually coming into running after impressing in obstacle course racing.
She has faced plenty of obstacles during recent months of training too. On her bike crash in October, she says: “I’d ridden the trail many times but my front suspension didn’t take kindly to this one chunk of wood that I tried to go over. My wheel planted into it and stuck and my arm collapsed on the handlebar. I landed on my face and my elbow, so I broke my radius.
“I think I was mildly concussed but I got up, checked that I had everything in my pockets and that my teeth were okay because there was blood everywhere. My helmet was crushed on one side and my ear was cut up with gravel. I thought my arm was sore but didn’t realize it was broken. I was at a high point on the mountain so had to ride down, although I realized I couldn’t brake properly so I got off occasionally and carefully made my way back to the gym in the end, where my stuff was.
“When people saw me, they were shocked. I didn’t know how bad my face was. When I got to the emergency room, I ended up being there for six hours until midnight. Although I was fine after that. It was just annoying that all that stuff (bad luck) happened at the same time.”
On her current kidney stone problem, she says: “The doctor didn’t seem too concerned about the size of it so I think I just have to wait and it’ll go of its own accord and I’m keeping myself as hydrated as possible in the meantime.”
The 34-year-old had an injury-hit build-up to London last year, though, but she came good in the end to finish second Brit behind Charlie Purdue and ahead of Lily Partridge, Hayley Carruthers, Tracy Barlow and Sonia Samuels. Jones was unable to run during January but kept fit with cross-training and then packed lots of work into the final two months before taking two minutes off her PB in the big race itself.
“I was devastated not to run in Doha,” she says, adding that the British Athletics team were brilliant in helping her throughher preparations and subsequent difficulties. “The hot climate didn’t matter to me. I wanted to run and I would have dragged myself to the finish. But my coach says it was a blessing that I missed it because I could have come out of it in a bad way.
“I was so upset not to race there though as it was my first British vest. I was in bits. It was like being in mourning afterwards. But with the injury there was no way I could have run it – that was the problem.”
“I don’t have much patience for most things. I lose my temper so easily. But I have patience for running. Everything goes into my running.”(03/11/2020) ⚡AMP
The London Marathon has never been canceled before in its 39-year history, but organizers may have to pull the plug on one of the six World Marathon Majors should the coronavirus epidemic get worse.
The annual 26.2-mile (42.195km) race is set to take place on April 26, attracting around 45,000 runners and one million spectators.
The sheer volume of people is a concern for British health officials as large gatherings could be a hotbed for the spread of the disease, known as Covid-19 and which originated from the Chinese city of Wuhan.
As of yesterday, there have been 51 reported cases with no deaths in Britain.
While the UK's Health Secretary Matt Hancock believes it is still "far too early" to make any decisions about the race, authorities are prepared to cancel it should the outbreak turn into a global pandemic.
Speaking on the BBC Breakfast program on Tuesday, he said: "Right now, we do not recommend the canceling of mass events and schools.
"There may be things we have to do down the line that we don't want to, but we will need the powers to do that, hence proposing emergency legislation."
In response to his comments, Hugh Brasher, the event director of the London Marathon, said: "We are monitoring closely the developments relating to the spread of coronavirus and noting the updates and advice given by the UK government, the World Health Organization and other UK public bodies.
"With just under eight weeks to go before the event... we will continue to monitor the situation."
The contagion has already affected other races, with last weekend's Tokyo Marathon taking place on empty streets, while the Paris Half Marathon was scrapped.
The country has been most affected by the virus in Europe, with 2,502 infections and 79 deaths.(03/05/2020) ⚡AMP
Matt Hancock said officials are looking into restricting participation in the marathon next month, which is the largest mass-participation sporting event in the world, over the ‘serious possibility’ of Covid-19 becoming a ‘pandemic’. However, the health secretary added it was ‘far too early’ to make any decisions.
The 26.2 mile race is currently still scheduled to take place on April 26 and attracts around 1 million spectators across the capital, which officials worry is a hotbed for the virus spreading. Speaking on BBC Breakfast this morning, the health secretary told of the government’s battle plan – unveiled later today – to contain the virus, which has so far infected 39 people in the UK.
Mr Hancock said although officials are not currently planning to axe major events and close schools, emergency legislation could be introduced to do so, should the outbreak turn into a national crisis. He said: ‘Right now, we do not recommend the cancelling of mass events and schools as well should not be closing unless there is a positive case and the schools have the advice to close.
‘There maybe things we have to do down the line that we don’t want to, but we will need the powers to do that hence proposing emergency legislation’. Hugh Brasher, events director at the London Marathon, said in a statement: ‘We are monitoring closely the developments relating to the spread of coronavirus and noting the updates and advice given by the UK Government, the World Health Organisation and other UK public bodies. ‘With just under eight weeks to go before the event on Sunday 26 April, we will continue to monitor the situation.’
Should the virus become a major outbreak in the UK, Mr Hancock said he was more than confident the NHS would be able to cope with the added pressure. He told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: ‘A lot of people, not least because it is mild, will be best off at home than in hospital so we are expanding the number of home ventilation kits that are available so that can be done.
‘The NHS, of course, has a full plan for this and prepares for this even when there isn’t an outbreak. ‘Inevitably in the case of this becoming widespread of course there will be much more pressure on the NHS, but the NHS is prepared for this sort of challenge.’ He added that production of home ventilation kits was being ramped up to ensure people are tested as early as possible, adding that for ‘most people who catch this virus, it’s relatively mild, and a bad cough’.
Mr Hancock said scientists were not calling for an end to handshaking, adding medical advice says the impact of the gesture is ‘negligible’, but insisted people should wash their hands more often.
On Saturday, the French health minister Olivier Veran confirmed that the Paris half-marathon - due to be held on Sunday - had been canceled due to the coronavirus epidemic in the country.
The French government has also decided to ban all indoor public gathering of more than 5,000 people, while Serie A football matches within Italian regions affected by the outbreak have also been postponed.
Elsewhere in the sporting world, this weekend's matches in the top two divisions in Switzerland had already been postponed after the government banned all events involving more than 1,000 people, while Ireland's Six Nations clash against Italy in Dublin next month has been postponed.
Meanwhile, Fifa president Gianni Infantino promised on Friday to do whatever is necessary to help combat the continued spread of the virus.
With the London Marathon scheduled to take place on 26 April, organizers will continue to monitor the latest developments as the world attempts to contain the outbreak.
Hugh Brasher, Event Director at London Marathon Events, told: "We, along with the rest of the world, are monitoring closely the developments relating to the spread of coronavirus and noting the updates and advice given by the UK Government, the World Health Organization and other public bodies.
"With two months to go before the event on Sunday 26 April, we will continue to monitor the situation."(02/29/2020) ⚡AMP
Here’s what’s new for 2020: The Start: the mass race will start earlier, at 09:30. Participants will again be started in a series of waves. For the first time, participants who think they will take more than 7:45 hours to complete the marathon have been offered the opportunity to start at the back of either the second or third wave to give them more time (8 hours 35 minutes or 8 hours 20 minutes respectively) to complete the event.
Tailwalkers: a group of approximately 50 Tailwalkers will walk the entire route at 8:00 hour pace as a mobile cheer squad for the back of the pack. The Tailwalkers will start at the back of the final wave at 10:30 and the 8:00 pace time will begin once these Tailwalkers cross the Start Line. To add to the atmosphere, there will also be a bus with a DJ playing music, which will join the route at the merge point (just after Mile 3) and drive behind the Tailwalkers.
Virgin Money Angels: a team of 80 Virgin Money Angels will support anyone who is struggling and needs help. The Virgin Money Angels will work in pairs, covering Mile 16 to 26, positioned about 400m apart and will remain in place until the Tailwalkers have passed.
Participant support: Drinks Stations, timing mats and the event photographers will stay in place until the back of the pack has passed. The convoy of clear up vehicles will follow the DJ bus and organizers will ensure this convoy does not impinge upon the back of the pack.
Road reopening times: Transport for London and the local authorities have given permission for later road reopening times from Mile 23 onwards (Tower of London) which means 8:00 hour pace participants are able to stay on the road throughout. The Tailwalkers will assist anyone who falls behind the 8:00 hour pace and guide them on to the pavement, staying with them through to the Finish. This is likely to be a very small number of participants but the ambition is to assist everyone to reach the Finish Line on The Mall.
Staff support: a senior London Marathon Events staff member will be at the back of the pack throughout the event to ensure there is no repeat of contractors overlapping with the back of the pack participants and Tailwalkers. Hugh Brasher, Event Director for the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon, said: “We have worked very hard over the past months to put in place these plans that ensure that runners at the back of the pack have the best possible experience on the day. We’d like to thank the back of the pack runners from 2019 who shared their experiences with us and the working group that helped us come up with these ideas.”(02/27/2020) ⚡AMP
The allegations have been made after BBC Panorama claimed to have received new evidence regarding Farah’s use of L-carnitine, a performance-enhancing supplement that is legal in limited doses.
A documentary on the allegations will be screened on Monday night, in which it is claimed that Farah was injected with L-carnitine in April 2014, a week before he finished eighth in the London Marathon.
It is alleged that Farah was injected with the supplement by the then UK Athletics doctor Robin Chakraverty, who it appears failed to record it properly.
Farah and his team were summoned by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee to attend a Combatting Doping in Sport inquiry after the Sunday Times first revealed the L-carnitine infusion, where Dr Chakraverty insisted the volume administered to Farah was 13.5ml, well short of the 50ml legal limit. There is no evidence that any World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) rules were broken.
However, according to the BBC, Farah “repeatedly denied” having L-carnitine injected when quizzed by Usada officials who travelled to London in 2015 to speak to the Olympic champion’s team as part of their investigation into his disgraced former trainer Alberto Salazar, who has since been banned from the sport for four years for anti-doping offences.
Farah declined to speak to BBC Panorama regarding the new allegations, while Salazar has rejected the findings by US arbitrators and has appealed his four-year ban.
The investigation has also uncovered emails between Fudge, former UK Athletics performance director Neil Black and Dr Chakraverty in which they question whether the use of L-carnitine is in the “spirit of the sport”, and claimed they would have preferred to have trialled the use of the supplement first given it was not readily available in the UK in its concentrated form. As a result, Fudge had to travel to Switzerland to meet a contact of Salazar’s who was able to supply it for use just two days before the Marathon on 11 April.
In response to the BBC’s claims, Farah’s lawyers sent a letter that read: "It is not against (Wada rules) rules to take (L-carnitine) as a supplement within the right quantities.
"The fact some people might hold views as to whether this is within the 'spirit' of the sport is irrelevant.
"Mr Farah … is one of the most tested athletes in the UK, if not the world, and has been required to fill in numerous doping forms. He is a human being and not robot.(02/24/2020) ⚡AMP
A Burnham-On-Sea pensioner is set to run her ninth London Marathon this Spring – her 21st worldwide marathon in total – as she proves that age is no barrier to running.
Sue Nicholls, 74, is in training for the London Marathon on April 26th in aid of Cancer Research UK.
“I will be running the Paris Marathon on April 5th followed by London three weeks later, which will be my ninth in London and 21st overall! I have also entered the Toronto Marathon next October.”
“Cancer Research UK is a great cause that is very close to my heart,” she told Burnham-On-Sea.com.
We reported in 2011 how Sue began running for the charity in memory of her late husband.
Since then, she has gone on to raise around £25,000 for the charity – an incredible sum.
She says: “Age is no barrier – I love running. It keeps your body and mind active.”
Last year, she completed the London Marathon in a time of 4 hours, 3 minutes and 52 seconds, winning the event’s 70+ age category for a second time!
Sue also completed the Great Wall Of China Marathon in 2018, and traveled to the Arctic Circle in 2019 to complete the Midnight Sun Marathon on the longest day of the year.
In 2017, we reported here that she had been awarded a special medal in recognition of completing worldwide marathons in London, Boston, Tokyo, New York, Chicago and Berlin.(02/10/2020) ⚡AMP
Virgin Money London Marathon, the world’s greatest marathon celebrates another landmark moment in its extraordinary history – The 40th Race.
From the legendary hand-in-hand finish of joint winners Dick Beardsley and Inge Simonsen in the very first London Marathon to countless world records; from one million finishers to £1 billion raised for charity; from crazy costumes to the incredible and inspiring examples of spirit and courage, The 40th Race – the name of this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon campaign – will celebrate them all.
The 40th Race campaign was launched at a star-studded reception on Tower Bridge, the iconic halfway point of the race, tonight (Tuesday 4 February) as a special film celebrating The 40th Race was released.
Hugh Brasher, Event Director of the Virgin Money London Marathon, said: “This year will be The 40th Race and we are so proud of how far the event has come since that wet day back on 29 March 1981. The London Marathon has proved to be a unique force for good and continues to have an extraordinary impact on society. It is an event that has inspired profound social change.
“Every year on Marathon Day, London is transformed. On one amazing day, the runners take on the challenge of 26.2 miles as families and friends come out to support them. Charities, which spend months championing causes and runners, line the route. Many thousands of volunteers come together and more than 750,000 spectators line the streets, cheering on every runner – it is London, and the UK, at its best.
“We look forward to celebrating the rich history of the London Marathon and, as always, we are also looking to the future of the event and how we can continue to develop and grow the world’s greatest marathon.”
In the men’s elite race, the two fastest marathon runners of all time, world record holder Eliud Kipchoge (KEN) and Kenenisa Bekele (ETH) go head-to-head while women’s world record holder and defending champion Brigid Kosgei (KEN) leads the greatest female marathon field ever assembled, as she takes on 2018 champion Vivian Cheruiyot (KEN) and world champion Ruth Chepngetich (KEN).(02/05/2020) ⚡AMP
Kenenisa Bekele has agreed to race Eliud Kipchoge in a London Marathon in April – and said he is not surprised Mo Farah is swerving the race in favour of returning to the track.
Bekele, a three-time Olympic gold medallist who has won 17 world titles over cross-country, track and road, roared with laughter when asked what he thought of Farah’s decision to leave the marathon and then added: “I am not surprised. Of course if you see Mo Farah’s races in marathons, he’s struggling – it’s not easy to get good results over a marathon. You need experience. It’s a different course, a different racing mentality.
“But it is really hard for all of us. You need to learn how to run it and also the training is different. I think it’s harder, not only for Mo, but for all of us – even I struggled.”
However the Ethiopian, who ran the second fastest marathon time in history in Berlin in September, two seconds shy of Kipchoge’s official world record of 2hr 01min 39sec, said Farah is still good enough to win a medal in the 10,000m at the Tokyo Olympics.
“I’m sure we’ll see Mo doing better things on the track. If he focuses and concentrates like before I’m sure he will be in the medals in the 10,000. I’ve no doubt about that.”
Bekele still holds the 5,000m and 10,000m world records, which were set in 2004 and 2005 respectively, and insisted he was capable of claiming Kipchoge’s marathon best even at the age of 37.
“My training is going well and I feel well,” he said.“Before last year I was struggling with injury. Everyone knows I’m a strong athlete from 15 years on the track. When we came to the marathon I’ve struggled maybe to achieve good results but of course this is because of injury, not a lack of training or my personality. I was a bit behind but my health came back and now I’m doing a lot better in the marathon.”
Bekele also admitted the sight of his great Kenyan rival running a sub-two-hour marathonin Vienna in October, albeit in an event that was not recognised by World Athletics, has spurred him on.
“When he ran under two hours, and of course it is not recognised, but it made me very motivated,” he said. “If someone like me also gets this big chance we will do a similar thing or do better. I believe in myself – you need the opportunity of course but some athletes will do a similar thing.”
The pair have met four times over 26.2 miles, with Kipchoge winning all four races. However Bekele has the better head-to-head record across all distances and surfaces.
“I am looking forward to racing Eliud once again,” added Bekele. “We have had many great battles over the years on the track, roads and cross-country. My big dream is to break the world record and an amazing performance will happen at the London Marathon.”(01/16/2020) ⚡AMP
Eliud Kipchoge announced in December that he would be running the 2020 London Marathon but until today it was not known who he would face. It turns out that the men’s lineup is almost as strong as the women’s but is missing one key player: Kenenisa Bekele.
Bekele finished the 2019 Berlin Marathon race just two seconds shy of Kipchoge’s world record, and seeing the two race head-to-head would’ve been special.
The 2020 London Marathon will see the entire podium from the 2019 race returning. They announced on Tuesday morning that Mosinet Geremew and Mule Wasihun, the Ethiopian duo, would be vying for first place again in 2020.
The 2019 event saw a fast finish–one of the fastest ever, with both second and third place finishing in PBs. Kipchoge finished in 2:02:37, just over a minute off his world record.
Since London 2019, Kipchoge became the first person to run a sub-two-hour marathon at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge. Through halfway, the runners were right on pace, coming through at 59:35, well ahead of Kipchoge’s 59:57 half at Breaking2 in 2017. The runner clicked off 1K splits like a metronome, never deviating from his 2:50 pace by more than two seconds. He finished in 1:59:40.(01/15/2020) ⚡AMP
The 2020 London Marathon will see one of the most competitive women’s lineups in history. With five of the 10 fastest women of all time and six women with personal bests under 2:20, the race could see the fastest women’s finish ever.
The headliner is Brigid Kosgei, the world record-holder and reigning Chicago champion. The Kenyan ran the women’s marathon world record of 2:14:04 in Chicago last year. Other than her pacers, the runner was completely alone for almost the entire marathon. She shattered Paula Radcliffe’s 16-year-old world record of 2:15:25, which many considered to be nearly unbeatable and one of the toughest records in the books.
Joyciline Jepkosgei, the half-marathon world record-holder, is also in the field. Her 1:04:51 half-marathon record from 2017 was challenged by Kosgei in 2019, but wasn’t ratified due to the point-to-point Great North Run course.
Another runner to watch is masters marathoner Sinead Diver. The Irish-born runner now competes for Australia, where she lives and trains. She’s a member of the Melbourne Track Club and training partner to Canadian World Championship 5,000m finalist Andrea Seccafien.
The advantage to choosing London as a spring marathon for elite runners is the 13 week timeline to the Olympics. Because there are over three months between the two events (late April to early August), runners have time to build again and perform well at the Games.
Those are the women who have run under 2:20: Brigid Kosgei – 2:14.04, Ruth Chepngetich – 2:17.08, Gladys Cherono – 2:18.11, Roza Dereje – 2:18.30, Vivian Cheruiyot – 2:18.31, Degitu Azimeraw – 2:19.26.(01/14/2020) ⚡AMP
Mosinet Geremew and Mule Wasihun, the Ethiopian duo who pushed the legendary Eliud Kipchoge to the limit at the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon, have confirmed they will return to the World Athletics Platinum Label road race on April 26.
With Kipchoge, the 2018 and 2019 World Athlete of the Year already confirmed, it means all three podium finishers from last year will be back for the 2020 edition.
Geremew, 27, ran the fifth fastest time in history of 2:02:55 to take second place behind Kipchoge in last year’s race and then had to settle for second again in his next marathon, the World Championships in Doha last October.
Wasihun’s time in finishing third in London last year, 2:03:16, was the 11th fastest marathon the world has ever seen.
Shura Kitata, who was fourth last year and second in 2018, has also been confirmed, ensuring that it looks likely to be a year when it is the Ethiopians who will be the biggest threat to Kipchoge winning an historic fifth London Marathon title.
Spencer Barden, Head of Elite Athletes, said: “Last year’s elite men’s race was one of the best races we have seen for many years. Mosinet Geremew and Mule Wasihun pushed Eliud Kipchoge as hard as I have ever seen but ultimately could not hang on to the great man in the final two miles. But they will have taken confidence from last year and will come back this time round looking to cause a real shock.”
Kipchoge, who made history by becoming the first human to cover the marathon distance in under two hours at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge in October, is looking to become the most successful able-bodied athlete in London Marathon history by winning a fifth title in 2020.(01/14/2020) ⚡AMP
The 25-year-old Kenyan broke Paula Radcliffe’s 16-year-old marathon world record at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon last October clocking an incredible time of 2:14:04. The record-breaking run came six months after Kosgei won the London Marathon for the first time.
“I am very much looking forward to returning to the Virgin Money London Marathon," Kosgei said. "Last year was an incredible year for me and it started by winning in London. Coming back will be very special and I hope it can be the start of another memorable year.”
Brigid Kosgei is joined in the elite women’s field by a stellar list of rivals, four of whom have also run sub-2:19 marathons.
The list includes 2018 London Marathon winner Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya, three-time BMW Berlin Marathon champion Gladys Cherono of Kenya, 2019 Valencia Marathon champion Roza Dereje of Ethiopia and the reigning world champion Ruth Chepngetich, also from Kenya.
Also on the start line will be the world half marathon record holder and 2019 TCS New York City Marathon champion Joyciline Jepkosgei who is joint top of the Abbott World Marathon Majors (AWMM) Series XIII leaderboard alongside Kosgei and Chepngetich.
The London elite men's field will be announced on Tuesday 14 January and the complete fields announced on Friday 17 January.(01/13/2020) ⚡AMP
New York marathon champion Joyciline Jepkosgei will gauge her fitness in cross country before coming to return to marathon running in April.
The 26-year-old, is still pinching herself after she staged one of the biggest coups in 2019 when running her only second marathon won in New York clocking an impressive 2:22:38, beating race favorite and defending champion Mary Keitany.
"It was a big surprise to me to win New York City marathon. Certainly, it was not in the plans because there were top contenders and I was there to make a new attempt to the distance after I had flopped in London," Keitany said on Monday.
Though she started light training after her run in New York, Jepkosgei said that it will be a while before she is fit to race again. However, she is open to run in Boston, London or Tokyo in 2020.
"The muscles still hurt and it is one day at a time. I was nervous at the start and I only realized that I could go for it after the halfway mark. The win crowned my season and beating my mentor was no mean task. Mary Keitany is up there with the greats in marathon and she will always win big races. The pressure was too much, but I took it in my stride."
She also won in June the New York half marathon clocking 70:07 minutes. But her winning time on New York race in November was just seven seconds off the course record.
"I always have the desire to take up challenges and I feel it is the right time to run the full marathon. I had already achieved in half marathon and taking up a new challenge was good for my career," she added.
In 2017, Jepkosgei smashed the world half-marathon record to become the first woman to run 21km in under 65 minutes. Brigid Kosgei later broke her record as she set 64.28 minutes.
Jepkosgei hopes one day she will be strong enough to challenge the world record in full marathon. Brigid Kosgei has reshuffled the tables with a fast run in Chicago in October when she posted a new world record of 2:14:04. She shreds Paula Radcliffe's record that had stood since 2003 of 2:15:25.(12/24/2019) ⚡AMP
Eliud Kipchoge believes he could break his own world record when he bids to become the first able-bodied athlete to win the Virgin Money London Marathon for a fifth time next April.
The Kenyan superstar, who created history with his groundbreaking run of 1:59:41 in October, has announced he will race in the UK capital once again in 2020 for the 40th edition of an event he has won four times in four appearances.
Kipchoge’s sub-two-hour run in Vienna was not eligible to be considered for world record purposes, given the controlled conditions in which it was achieved, but he can see the two-hour barrier being broken in a big city marathon in the not-too-distant future.
For now, the official world record stands as the 2:01:39 which the Olympic champion ran in Berlin last year and, though he insists there is plenty of training to do between now and the London race day of April 26, he won’t rule out going quicker come springtime.
“Absolutely,” was Kipchoge’s answer when asked if he could create yet more history in London, where he won in a time of 2:02:37 earlier this year which broke his own course record. “It is possible.”
Has what he achieved in Vienna in fact given him the confidence that anything is possible?
Kipchoge is undoubtedly the dominant force in world marathon and his achievements have gained recognition across the globe, with the 35-year-old currently in Britain to attend the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, where he will receive the World Sport Star of the Year award.
He is feted as a hero, too, in his native country, where he received a very different kind of medal.
“Everyone in Kenya is recognising me,” he said. “I can say it is a crazy time. There was no need for a big procession because the president honoured me with the national certificate. I was given the honour – the golden heart – the highest recognition by the Head of State.”(12/15/2019) ⚡AMP
World Athlete of the Year Eliud Kipchoge will defend his title at the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon, a World Athletics Platinum event, set to take place in the British capital on 26 April.
Kipchoge, who earlier this year became the first person to cover 42.195km within two hours, has his sights set on continuing his incredible streak of record-breaking performances at what will be the 40th edition of the London Marathon.
In September last year he set an official world record of 2:01:39 in Berlin, then in April earlier this year he smashed his own course record to win in London in 2:02:37. The Olympic champion from Kenya will be aiming to become the first person to win five London Marathon titles.
Kipchoge is currently tied with Ingrid Kristiansen in the London Marathon history books for the most wins by an able-bodied athlete. The Norwegian great won four London Marathon titles between 1984 and 1988.
If Kipchoge continues his unbeaten run at the London Marathon next April – where he won in 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019 – he will surpass Kristiansen’s tally.
“I am delighted to be returning to the Virgin Money London Marathon in 2020,” said Kipchoge. “I love running in London where the crowd support is always wonderful. Breaking the two-hour barrier in Vienna was an incredible moment. It showed that no human is limited and that is a belief that continues to drive me on to set new objectives.
“Making history in London is my next target. I am proud that I am currently the only male able-bodied athlete to have won this great race four times and that no one, male or female, has won it more than that.
“Eliud Kipchoge is the greatest marathon runner of all time,” said event director Hugh Brasher. “Eliud’s belief that no human is limited resonated with millions in every walk of life and we are delighted that this extraordinary and truly inspirational man will be part of the 40th race.”
Kipchoge was given the highest honour of Kenya following his performance in Vienna, the Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya (EGH).
As well as his four Virgin Money London Marathon titles and the Olympic gold medal he won in Rio in 2016, Kipchoge has also won the Berlin Marathon on three occasions and the Chicago Marathon once. In addition, he has won the overall Abbott World Major Marathon series titles four times.
He is the first of the elite runners to be announced for the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon. Further names will be revealed in January.
President Uhuru Kenyatta Thursday feted marathoner Mary Jepkosgei Keitany with the Order of the Grand Warrior of Kenya (OGW) award during the Jamhuri Day celebrations garden party at State House, Nairobi.
Speaking to Nation Sport on Friday, Keitany said that the award came as a surprise to her at a time she is almost retiring from the sport.
“I’m happy that the president has finally rewarded my exploits in the sport. Since I started running, this is the first time I have been rewarded by the government,” said the former New York Marathon champion.
Keitany also said that after being rewarded, she feels energized and will be looking forward to a good season next year.
“The award has given me morale to continue working hard and I want to say that I will be training harder for better results next year. For now, I’m still recovering after the New York Marathon race which I managed to come in second,” said Keitany, who is also the former World Half Marathon record holder.
Keitany uses some of her race earnings to support development in her community having partnered with Shoe4Africa to build a school in Eldama Ravine, Baringo County.
Keitany becomes the second marathon star to be recognized by the president after world men's marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge who was feted with Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya (E.G.H.) award during Mashujaa Day celebrations in October in Mombasa.(12/13/2019) ⚡AMP
London Marathon Events Ltd announced on Tuesday that 2021 will be the last year of Virgin Money’s long-standing sponsorship of the London Marathon.
After a hugely successful partnership which dates back to 2010, first with Virgin and then with Virgin Money from 2014, Virgin Money has decided not to renew the current contract which comes to an end after the 2021 event.
Hugh Brasher, Event Director for London Marathon Events, said: “Our partnership with Virgin Money has been fantastic and together we have established London as the greatest marathon in the world. This year we celebrated a landmark in our history as we passed £1 billion raised for charity since our first race in 1981 and more than £560 million of that was raised since the first year of this partnership.
"We are very proud that this partnership led to the creation of Virgin Money Giving, the not-for-profit fundraising platform which has meant that so much more of the money raised by our runners goes to their chosen charity.
“Twelve years is a very long time in sports sponsorship and further illustration of the mutual success of this partnership. We would like to thank everyone at Virgin Money for their wonderful support of the London Marathon.”
Helen Page, Group Brand and Marketing Director at Virgin Money, said: “We are proud to have partnered with the London Marathon. Together we have raised more than £560 million for charities and built an enduring legacy that will benefit society and causes for decades to come – with £200 million of that raised on Virgin Money Giving, our not-for-profit fundraising platform.
"As a new organization with a new purpose we need to realign our future sponsorship and take a different direction. We remain committed to sponsoring the London Marathon until 2021 and look forward to playing a huge part in the London Marathon's 40th race celebrations in 2020."
The 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon, the 40th race, takes place on Sunday 26 April. It is the most popular marathon on the planet with a world record of more than 450,000 people applying for a place through the ballot.(10/24/2019) ⚡AMP
The new record was an increase of more than £2.5 million on the previous record total of £63.7 million raised from the 2018 event. It brings the overall sum raised for charity since the event was founded in 1981 to more than £1 billion ($1.23US billion).
The total raised for charity by the London Marathon since Virgin became title sponsor in 2010 is now more than £565 million. Virgin Money Giving is the not-for-profit fundraising partner of the London Marathon and donations to charity linked to the race through the on line service have reached more than £198 million.
Hugh Brasher, Event Director at London Marathon Events, said: “Every year, the Virgin Money London Marathon inspires thousands to take on the challenge of running the famous 26.2 miles and raise these incredible sums for charity.
We salute every runner who has contributed to this amazing world record total of £66.4 million, a truly incredible sum from a one-day event.
“Since 1981, the London Marathon has helped to raise over £1 billion for charitable causes, celebrated by our #ThanksaBillion campaign at this year’s event. It is a phenomenal achievement and part of what makes the London Marathon unique.
No other mass participation event comes anywhere near this kind of fundraising.
“We would like to thank every runner, supporter, donator, charity, volunteer, sponsor, spectator, staff member and everyone else who has contributed to this wonderful total.”
Jo Barnett, Executive Director at Virgin Money Giving, said: "Virgin Money Giving works hard to support charity fundraisers who participate in the Virgin Money London Marathon to ensure that as much money as possible is raised, and this year was no exception.
Our innovative fundraiser hub offered advice and support from experts and past runners, and it proved a huge hit with runners of all abilities.(09/26/2019) ⚡AMP
An inspirational mum who ran a half marathon one month after having a breast removed is encouraging others to keep fighting. Sarah Flourentzou-Lucas' doctor told her 'not to worry' about a small lump she had found, as it looked like a cyst.
But she was given the devastating news she had a rare form of cancer after waiting for weeks for a follow-up appointment, but medics were unsure what type.
The 39-year-old Worle runner said: "They told me it was a really rare one as they would normally know straight away. "That was the worst part because I was left wondering if I was going to die in a month."
Sarah said a 'weight lifted off her shoulders' when she finally found out what form of breast cancer she had. She had seven rounds of chemotherapy before undergoing surgery to remove her breast.
She said: "This cancer might kill me but it's not going to stop me living. I get bouts of anxiety about it but I can't stay in that position because there is no point in me being here and that isn't a life.
"My motto during my treatment was to take a good day and make it great because the next day I could be on my butt doing nothing."
James Lucas described his wife as an 'inspiration' to other people battling cancer. He said: "We have a running group called #NoExcuses which really encompasses Sarah.
"She is still running and training and doing everything she does despite what she is going through." Sarah carried on her with her exercise regime, completing 17 park runs during her chemotherapy treatment.
Sarah had her breast removed on April 23 and, within four-and-a-half weeks, she completed a half marathon in Edinburgh. She started radiotherapy, but has been told by her doctors she will not go into remission as the odds of her cancer returning will increase at a rate of 2.5 per cent every 10 years.
Sarah has called on men and women to 'check their lumps and bumps', as early detection 'could have saved her life'.
Sarah is now hoping to continue her running aspirations by earning a place in the London Marathon for Breast Cancer Now.(07/15/2019) ⚡AMP
Runners who competed in the marathon in April said at the time they were taunted by contractors and volunteers as they race to the finish line of the 26.2-mile race.
“I had runners that were crying — ones saying they were going to go home and quit,” Liz Ayres, an official race pacer, previously told the BBC.
Some runners were allegedly told, “If you weren’t so fat, you could run,” and “This is a race, not a walk.”
Organizers for the London Marathon investigated the situation, apologized and recently announced that those who were taunted will receive free entry to next year’s event, the BBC reported on Saturday.
Ayres claimed that as early as 3 miles into the race, the water stations along the course had been packed away and that one runner was injured by a cleaning solution used by crews who allegedly told the group to “hurry up” so that they could clear the streets quicker.
Race organizers said that, in response, they’ll start cleaning up at a later time, will look into when water was provided throughout the race and will have a senior staff member monitor the event from the back of the race.
More than 42,000 people participated in the 39th running of the London Marathon earlier this year.(07/10/2019) ⚡AMP
Obviously these people just wanted to wrap up the race after a long day. No excuse for this but it appears the London Marathon are addressing this with style. 7/10 9:52 pm
More than 450,000 runners have entered the ballot for next year's London Marathon, breaking the event's own world record for registrations, organisers said on Tuesday.
The final total of 457,861 applicants from Britain and overseas represents a 10.5% increase on last year's 414,168 bidding for a place in the world's most popular marathon.
More than 56% of British entries were from people who have never run a marathon, and the majority of those are women.
"One of our goals is to inspire people to take up sport and it's fantastic that more than 210,000 people from the UK have been inspired to apply to run a marathon for the first time in 2020," event director Hugh Brasher said in a statement.
"At the first London Marathon back in 1981, fewer than 300 of the 6,300 finishers were women.
"More than 179,000 women from the UK have applied to run in 2020 and, for the third successive year, there are more female than male first-time marathon runners from the UK."
The 40th London marathon will take place on April 26, 2020.(05/22/2019) ⚡AMP
London marathon champion Brigid Kosgei says she will relish the challenge to defend her title in the English capital in 2020.
Speaking in Nairobi upon her arrival from London, Kosgei, who is also the Chicago marathon winner, says she has no fear of any athlete and will be ready to take on any challenge in future race.
"I say thank you for Kenyans for cheering me. I have done to London and done something good. I hope next year I will go there and do something better," said Kosgei on Tuesday.
For now, Kosgei will take a deserved rest to shake off the fatigue as she discusses with her coach Erick Kimaiyo and management over her next race in 2019.
"I want to prepare well for the next race. I hope to be a winner again wherever I will go. I must thank my coach Kimaiyo for having believed and trained me," she said.
Kosgei, who in 2018 was second to Vivian Cheruiyot, returned to the English capital and proved her worth as she obliterated her mentor to win the race with Cheruiyot settling for silver.
She however says due to the high number of elite runners in the race, it is always hard to hit fast time as each will sit back to wait for a sacrificial lamp to step forward and lead.
"But for me, I knew I had trained well and after 21km I decided it was time to go. We were watching each other, me, Vivian and Mary Keitany. I believed in my strides and it was good that I won. Even the few times that Cheruiyot pulled away, I was not worried. I don't fear anyone because as long as my legs are strong, I always focus on winning," she said
Kosgei had prepared for a fast time but not a personal best. "I don't know what is next for me at the moment. After recovering, my body will show where next I will go," said Kosgei.
It is now three wins in a row for Kenya women in London after Keitany won in 2017, Cheruiyot in 2018 and now Kosgei in 2019.(05/01/2019) ⚡AMP
Over 30,000 edible drinks capsules made from seaweed were handed out to runners at the London Marathon, in a bid to reduce plastic waste.
The marathon was the largest ever trial of Ooho capsules – biodegradable pods that can be filled with water or other beverages.
You can either consume the pods whole, or bite into them to release the liquid. Made from a seaweed-based substance, the discarded wrapping will naturally decompose in four to six weeks – roughly the same time as a piece of fruit.
Ooho pods are made by Skipping Rocks Lab, a London-based startup led by Royal College of Art graduates Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez and Pierre Paslier.
During the marathon, the capsules were filled with energy drink Lucozade Sport Orange and handed out to runners from a station 23 miles into the 26.2-mile course.
Introduction of the capsules formed part of a push from London Marathon organisers to make this year's event the most sustainable marathon ever.
Last year an estimated 760,000 plastic bottles were thrown onto the city's streets by runners and spectators. The target for 2019 was to bring this number down by 215,000.
The total number of drinks stations was reduced from 26 to 19, including the one distributing edible Ooho pods. Plus two of the stations were handing out drinks in compostable cups.
To further reduce the marathon's carbon footprint, plastic bottles dropped in the London were taken to a recycling plant.
"It's really simple because it’s a membrane, and membranes are the technology that nature uses to encapsulate things using the minimum amount of material," explained Gonzalez.(05/01/2019) ⚡AMP