Charities set for bumper London Marathon windfall after participant numbers double

A total of 100,000 people will take part in this year's event, organisers say, after 50,000 people signed up to complete their own 26.2-mile race

Participants in last year's virtual London Marathon (Photograph: Dominika Zarzycka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Participants in last year's virtual London Marathon (Photograph: Dominika Zarzycka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Charities could be set for a bumper windfall from the London Marathon after organisers confirmed that 100,000 people will take part in this year’s delayed event. 

London Marathon Events revealed in January that it planned to include a record number of runners in this year’s race, with 50,000 people running the famous course between Blackheath and The Mall and the same number completing 26.2 miles virtually wherever they wish. 

LME said on Friday that all 50,000 virtual places had been filled. The expanded 50,000-participant race in London is also massively oversubscribed. 

The previous record number of starters was just under 43,000 in April 2019, the last time the full race was held.

That event raised a record £66.4m for good causes, breaking the record for the highest fundraising total through an annual single-day fundraising event for the 13th successive year.

Last year’s event was delayed from April to October, but in the end only elite runners were able to participate on a biosecure circuit around St James’s Park, while almost 38,000 people completed their own virtual races. 

Those runners raised more than £16m for charity, figures released after the event showed. 

The 50,000 people who have signed up for this year’s virtual London Marathon have 24 hours on 3 October – the same day as the actual race – to complete their own marathon distance. 

Hugh Brasher, event director of the Virgin Money London Marathon, said: “Our first virtual marathon last year was a huge success and it's wonderful that 50,000 people want to be part of it this October, doing the marathon their way, wherever they are in the world."

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