London Marathon Events today [Monday 17 August] announced Flora – the headline sponsor of the London Marathon from 1996 to 2009 – will return in a new partnership with the event, that will run from 2020 until 2023.

The renewed partnership between the versatile, plant-based margarine brand Flora and the London Marathon comes ahead of the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon – The 40th Race – on Sunday 4 October.

To celebrate, Flora is launching an initiative to support runners in this year’s race who are fundraising for small charities which are so reliant on funds raised by runners of the event. Every week from now until 4th October, the company will donate £1,000 to one lucky marathon participant upon sharing their running story detailing which charity they are running for and why. Further prizes will also be available including running kit and places in the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon, courtesy of Flora. The initiative comes at a time when the UK charity sector is facing an estimated £10.1billion funding shortfall as a result of Covid-19.

Flora also announced that Paula Radcliffe, who famously won three London Marathon titles and broke two world records when Flora was headline sponsor of the event, has become an official Flora Running Ambassador to mark the partnership.

Radcliffe will provide exclusive training and nutrition tips for Flora’s new ‘Keep Running’ content hub available here.

Catherine Lloyd, Marketing Director UK & Ireland, said: “We’re really excited for Flora to be partnering with the Virgin Money London Marathon. Flora has been an iconic and versatile brand within British kitchens for generations and a staple of nutrition plans for runners since the 1960s. Many still remember when the event was known as the Flora London Marathon, so we’re delighted to rekindle our friendship and be back in the race.

“As an official partner we plan to support seasoned runners and new-found running enthusiasts with tips from our running ambassador and Flora friend Paula Radcliffe on how runners can balance healthy eating as part of a sustainable, nutritious training diet.”

Paula Radcliffe said: “I am thrilled about Flora coming back on board as an official partner of the London Marathon and delighted to be partnering with them as the Flora Running Ambassador. All of my wins in London came when the race was known as the Flora London Marathon and this partnership ties in with my beliefs on healthy living and keeping the family active and eating healthily.

“When I first started running, my pre-race fuel was always a slice of wholemeal toast, with Flora on top and a hot tin of tomatoes with cheese crumbled in.”

Hugh Brasher, Event Director of the Virgin Money London Marathon, said: “Everyone has such fond memories of our previous partnership with Flora and we are delighted to be able to renew that relationship.

“It is particularly fitting that Flora, which has played such a large part in our history, is back as a partner for The 40th Race on Sunday 4 October.

“It says so much about the status of the London Marathon that we are welcoming this new partnership at a time when so many businesses in so many industries are facing an uncertain future.”

The 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon – The 40th Race – takes place on Sunday 4 October. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there will be elite races only on a closed-loop course around St James’s Park and the thousands of mass runners will be participating in The 40th Race by running the 26.2 mile distance on a course of their choice from wherever they are in the world.

All those who complete the virtual Virgin Money London Marathon using the official Race App will be sent The 40th Race finisher medal and exclusive New Balance finisher T-shirt. Their finish times will also be compiled in the historic results of The 40th Race.