The marathon had already been postponed (Picture: Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

For months now a question mark has hung over the London Marathon 2020 and whether the iconic race would be able to go ahead amidst the on-going threat of coronavirus around the world.

As marathons in other major cities were cancelled or postponed, runners, charities and spectators have been waiting to see what the final decision will be regarding the London Marathon this year.

Organisers had previously delayed the event from April 26 to October 4, but have now shared their final decision regarding this year’s race.

Has the London Marathon been cancelled?

Hugh Brasher, Event Director of the London Marathon, has confirmed that ‘the London Marathon we know and love cannot take place on Sunday 4 October’.

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Elite runners will still be able to participate in a London Marathon of sorts, racing in a biosphere environment on a closed loop course around St James’s Park that will meet the UK government’s current rules for Elite Sport.

However members of the general public who had a place in the race either through the ballot or in association with a charity will not be able to run the well known route from Blackheath to Buckingham Palace this year.

On their website, organisers of the Virgin London Marathon confirmed the plans, stating that non-elite runners will have the opportunity to defer their place in the race and run in 2021, 2022 or 2023 instead.

The site reads: ‘After months of intensive work and consultation with London’s authorities, organisers today confirmed the plans for The 40th Race on Sunday 4 October 2020.

‘Elite races for men, women and wheelchair athletes will take place on an enclosed looped course in St James’s Park in a secure biosphere. The long-awaited head-to-head between Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele will headline the men’s race.

‘Everyone with a place in the 2020 event will still have the chance to take part in The 40th Race by running the famous marathon distance from home or anywhere in the world.

‘In addition, all runners and charities will also have the chance to defer their place to a future London Marathon – in 2021, 2022 or 2023.’

Runners who had a place in the marathon through a charity are being encouraged to discuss their decision to defer their place in the race to another year with the charities in question before rolling over their entry.

In lieu of the traditional marathon format, Hugh Brasher is calling on all those who would have been running the marathon this year to instead take ‘on the 26.2 miles from your home, with your loved ones and your communities supporting you.’

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He explains: ‘You will have from 00:00 to 23:59:59 BST on Sunday 4 October to complete your 26.2 miles and your time will be included in the official results for The 40th Race and will also be eligible for Good for Age and Championship qualifying times for 2021.

The London Marathon organisers hope to launch an app that will enable runners to log their race and time from home in order to earn the T-shirt and medal normally given to those on their completion of the London Marathon.

Initially, The 40th Race will only be open to those who had a place for the marathon on the 4 October 2020 or who had already deferred their place to 2021.

For more details on the 40th Race, plans for Sunday 4 October or the cancellation of this year’s London Marathon, visit

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Source: Metro