The London Marathon may look a little different this year, but it's still going ahead on Sunday – with runners all over the UK taking part in the virtual race for the event's 40th birthday.


Over 45,000 runners are predicted to be taking on the weighty challenge, which takes place virtually this year due to the ongoing pandemic, and gives participants 23 hours 59 minutes and 59 seconds to complete 26.2 miles anywhere in the UK.

Meanwhile, the Elite and wheelchair races will still take place in London, with the athletes descending upon a secure biosphere in St James's Square to run loops of a closed course. has rounded up everything you need to know about the 2020 London Marathon including date, start times, how to apply and how to watch.

When is the London Marathon 2020?

The London Marathon 2020 takes place on Sunday 4th October, and begins at 7.15am, with different groups beginning the race at different times.

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  • Elite Women's Race – 7:15am
  • Elite Men's Race – 10:15am
  • Wheelchair Races – 1:10pm

How to apply for London Marathon 2020

Applications for the London Marathon are now closed – however due to the ongoing pandemic, you can complete the marathon virtually by running the 26.2 mile distance anywhere.

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

What is the Virtual London Marathon 2020?

This year, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, those running the marathon who don't qualify for the Elite Races are being asked to run, walk or job the 26.2 miles in any location they like to ensure social distancing among the participants.

Taking place on Sunday 4th October, runners will have from midnight until 11:59pm to complete a marathon wherever they like.

Runners and charities do have the option to defer their original place, without additional payment, to a future London Marathon – either 2021, 2022 or 2023.

How to watch London Marathon 2020

The BBC will be airing the London Marathon this year, with Gabby Logan presenting coverage of the 40th event live from the Mall.

BBC Two will be kicking off the coverage at 7am, with the Elite Women's Race, before the show moves onto BBC One at 10am. From 1pm, coverage will move back onto BBC Two until 3.20pm.

London Marathon 2020 route

While most people running the London Marathon will be able to do so virtually, and therefore can run any route they want, the Elite and wheelchair races are taking place in a biosphere environment on a closed-loop course around St James's Park in London, with the race finishing on The Mall as it has done in previous years.

No spectators will be allowed on the road-side to watch.

For the full details,, visit the official website here.


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