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Black History Month

London Marathon Events celebrates Black History Month

For the second successive year, the Virgin Money London Marathon is taking place during Black History Month – an annual commemoration of the history, achievements and contributions of black people in the UK. People from many different backgrounds come together during this month to celebrate the positive role of black people in shaping our communities. 

Challenging times

In October 2020, the pandemic meant that the Virgin Money London Marathon could not take place in its usual format and instead the elite races took place on a closed-loop course around St James’s Park and the first virtual London Marathon was held. This was an incredibly challenging but very proud moment for us as a company, which provided us with some incredible memories that we will cherish forever. 

However, the event took place against a backdrop of months of pain and anguish for the black community following the murder of George Floyd in May 2020. Black Lives Matter protests around the world had sparked a commitment among many individuals and organisations to educate themselves about black history, heritage, and culture – as part of understanding racism and standing in solidarity against it. 

Meaningful change

One year on, and change is gradual. We know that systems, structures, processes, and cultures need to be dismantled and rebuilt for meaningful change to take place; sport in particular has been in the spotlight for the wrong reasons all too often recently. This year, UK Sport and the Home Country Sports Councils commissioned a report by our strategic partners AKD Solutions into the lived experiences of participants and those working in the sport sector. The report and subsequent research review into tackling racism and racial inequality in sport make for sobering, but essential, reading. 

We must acknowledge it’s been an incredibly emotional and exhausting time for many black and brown people, with so much in the media about racism, inequality and injustice. This Black History Month we want to focus on celebrating our black communities in sport and encouraging others to share their stories in their own way and in their own words. 

Share your stories with us

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing a range of content relating to what black history means to a range of people and interviewing some inspiring individuals from the black community to share their insights on running, their connection to London Marathon Events, and how it has impacted their lives.

If you would like to contribute your words, please respond to the following question:

What does black history mean to you?

Submit your response (no longer than 100 words) including your full name to BHM@londonmarathonevents.co.uk

Please check our social channels for updates and information on what else we’ll be doing throughout October to celebrate Black History Month.

More from London Marathon Events

    • Our other events

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    • The London Classics

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    • The 40th Race

      How the 2020 event became the only major city marathon to take place since Covid-19 struck

    • Our other events

      We would love you to be part of the other great events we organise throughout the year

    • The London Classics

      Tackle the UK’s greatest mass participation challenge

    • The 40th Race

      How the 2020 event became the only major city marathon to take place since Covid-19 struck

    • Our other events

      We would love you to be part of the other great events we organise throughout the year

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