The 40th Race makes history as 36,000 participants finish
The 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon will live long in the memory as a race that united elite athletes, everyday heroes and millions of supporters around the world in a celebration of running, fundraising and inspiring community spirit.
The 40th Race in the London Marathon’s vibrant history epitomised the spirit of the million-plus extraordinary finishers over the years, and the friends and families who have supported them through training and at the race itself.
Hugh Brasher, Event Director of the Virgin Money London Marathon, said: “We are delighted and incredibly proud to have held this event during a worldwide pandemic. We have inspired tens of thousands of people around the world to take part in their own challenge, their own 26.2 miles, and to do it their way.
“The spirit of the London Marathon is about bringing people together. We couldn’t get them together in reality, but we have brought them together as a community.
“The individual stories and achievements have been incredible, and we believe The 40th Race will live long in the memory. It truly has been a beacon of light in the darkness.”
While the elite races were taking place on a closed-loop biosecure course in St James’s Park, runners across the UK and round the world took part in the virtual Virgin Money London Marathon – many with the aim of raising much-needed funds for their chosen charities.
To date, more than 36,000 runners have logged their completion time, making the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon the biggest virtual marathon in history and runners have until Sunday 11 October to complete the process.
It was a day of so many highlights, from Shura Kitata taking Eliud Kipchoge’s crown in the elite men’s race, to participants up and down the UK braving Storm Alex, to thousands taking the London Marathon to their communities in countries from Chile to China and Singapore to Sweden.
One of the charity fundraisers was first-time marathon runner Jasmine Barnett, who completed her virtual 26.2 miles with her husband Ashley while on holiday in Devon. “This was not only my first marathon but also my first-ever running event… we took it very steady,” she said.
Jasmine was due to run the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon, but was unable to take part after being diagnosed with a rare form of leukaemia shortly before the race. Now cancer-free, she has been fundraising for the charity Leukaemia Care.
“We started just after midnight because we were too excited to sleep!” said Jasmine.
Brigid Kosgei, who defended her title in the elite women’s race, captured this sense of excitement and hope for the future when she was asked to sum up her feelings about the event:
“Everyone in the world was looking to see how this would go. Yesterday everyone was a winner.
“Let’s hope next year we will be running together again and the pandemic will be over.”