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London is hosting the world’s biggest ever marathon, ever

More runners than stars in the night sky

Joe Mackertich
Written by
Joe Mackertich

On October 3, absolutely loads of people are going to be running at the same time. More people than have ever run at the same time, anywhere in the world (100,000 to be precise). The cause of this mass stampede: an event that used to be known as the London Marathon, but in order to not get sued you now have to call it the Virgin Money London Marathon. Fine by us! 

Half of the aforementioned 100,000 runners will be lugging themselves, in person, from Blackheath to the Mall. It’s a charming 26 mile (roughly) schlep, up from Greenwich, that takes you past Cutty Sark, across Tower Bridge and finally into the centre of town. The other half will be doing a marathon virtually (using computers). 

Last year 38,000 took part in the marathon online, and organisers are hoping to boost that number to 50,000 for 2021. Participants need to sign up to claim one of the places. They can then choose their own course to run on October 3.

‘With a national vaccination programme underway, we hope to see an unprecedented 100,000 people take part in this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon,’ says the event’s director Hugh Brasher. ‘The London Marathon is a wonderful example of sport as a force for good while raising millions for charity. It’s all about communities and people coming together and one of our founding pillars is ‘to have fun and provide some happiness and a sense of achievement in a troubled world’.’

Price of entry is £28 (plus an additional tenner if you’re outside the UK). General entries will open on Tuesday February 16, on a first-come, first-served basis. All finishers will receive their running numbers before the event and their coveted official finisher medal and even a snazzy New Balance finisher’s T-shirt. Find out more about the event and taking part in it here.

Read our ongoing series on lovely stuff to do, read, hear and eat to feel better during lockdown

How to take up running and actually stick to it this time

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