More than 45,000 runners from around the world, each with their own reason to run, will take on the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon – Your Way on Sunday 4 October.
The mass-participation element of The 40th Race in London Marathon history invites people to complete the famous 26.2 miles on a course of their choice anytime from 00:00 to 23:59:59 BST.
It is the first virtual run in Virgin Money London Marathon history in a year when it was not possible to hold the event in its traditional format due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The event is a complete sell-out and on Sunday 4 October participants from all round the globe, and across the United Kingdom, will be running the marathon in their own unique way, many inspired to fundraise at a time when the charity sector is in desperate need of funds as a result of the pandemic.
Here are some of the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon Runners’ Stories
Don’t let anyone stand in the way of your dreams: 20-year-old Aaron Plummer, from Walthamstow, London, is running for Mencap, the official 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon Charity of the Year. Aaron, who has a learning disability, has been helping his community throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Mencap supported Aaron into his dream job in the hospitality industry and even during lockdown he took on shifts serving food at his local hospital. He is one of 312 people running the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon – Your Way for Mencap. To view the campaign video of Aaron and his teammates from the learning disability running squad, click here.
Family tribute to British judo star: June and Tina Fallon, the mother and sister of British Judo player Craig Fallon, will be walking 26.2 miles for MIND – the mental health charity. Craig, who committed suicide in 2019, is widely regarded as Britain’s best ever judo player and is a former world champion. His mother and sister will finish their London Marathon at the beauty spot in Shropshire where Craig took his own life hoping to raise awareness of mental health.
Grimsby Town fan’s 120 laps of his team’s pitch: Grimsby Town fan James Whaley, 33, will run more than 120 laps around his team’s home pitch at Blundell Park for the charity Make A Wish Foundation, which creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses.
Running in memory of my husband: Kirsty Makin, 29, from Manchester, is running her first marathon in memory of her husband, Tom, who died from osteosarcoma aged 29 in June 2019. Tom had already fought the disease twice before he died, leaving behind wife Kirsty and two daughters, then aged three and eight weeks old. Kirsty will be running with Tom’s Team, which includes a group of his friends. They have already raised a staggering £52,000 for the charity Sarcoma UK. You can see more about Tom’s Team here.
Ever Presents 40th Race: The London Marathon would not be complete without the presence of The Ever Presents – ten men who have run every single London Marathon since its inception in 1981. All ten members will take part in their local areas, including oldest member Ken Jones, 87, and youngest member Chris Finill, 62. Jones will run with his daughter Heather in his hometown of Strabane, Northern Ireland, while Finill has secured the use of the famous Top Gear racing track in Dunsfield Park, Surrey. He will be joined by fellow runners who will accompany him for sections of the race including Martha Wightman – sister of British middle-distance international Jake Wightman. Not quite an Ever Present, but impressively close, is Barbara Ralph, who will complete her 30th London Marathon when she runs eight laps of her local area in the Chilterns, Buckinghamshire.
All around the world: Runners from Australia to the USA will be taking part in The 40th Race. One of the first to get under way will be Timothy McQuoid-Mason who will be doing laps of the Whitsunday Islands in Australia while 43-year-old Charlie Osmond, who has been stranded in New York since the start of lockdown in March, unable to fly home to the UK. He will be running laps of Manhattan Island and hopes to finish in a time of 2:55. In total, runners from 106 different nationalities will be taking part in The 40th Race.
Runners participating in The 40th Race will be able to track their run using the new Virgin Money London Marathon App, powered by TCS, which will be available to download the week before Marathon Day. All finishers will receive the historic 40th Race medal and New Balance finisher’s T-shirt.
In addition to the mass-participation event, elite-only races will take place on a closed-loop circuit in St James’s Park on Sunday 4 October. For more information on the elite races, click here.
For more information on any of the Runners’ Stories or to request further stories, email firstname.lastname@example.org