Places in virtual 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon available
Places in this year’s virtual Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 3 October go on general sale today (Tuesday 16 February) at 10:00 GMT.
The virtual event was held for the first time at last year’s Virgin Money London Marathon and was awarded a Guinness World Records title for the Most users to run a remote marathon in 24 hours with 37,966 finishers.
It was also the most inclusive marathon in the 40-year history of the event with participants able to complete the 26.2-mile distance any time between 00:00:00 and 23:59:59 BST on the day.
Hugh Brasher, Event Director of the Virgin Money London Marathon, says the virtual concept has opened up the event to a whole new group of people, many of whom would never have previously dreamed of completing a marathon before.
Brasher said: “Our first virtual Virgin Money London Marathon last year was a real eye-opener for us. An incredible 37,967 participants across the UK and around the globe took part and many of those were taking on a marathon for the very first time. It was, without doubt, the most inclusive marathon in our history.
“Giving participants 23 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds to complete the 26.2-mile distance meant we removed many of the barriers that have stopped so many attempting a marathon. Everyone did the marathon their way: some ran the whole way, others walked, while some broke up the distance into manageable parts over the day and night. Some did it on their own, some did it supported by friends and family, others did it with running groups. It was an incredible, inclusive day when the spirit of the London Marathon brought everyone together in a unique way.
“By signing up for the virtual 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon, participants will experience something truly special as part of the world’s greatest and largest marathon. All finishers will receive the official medal and New Balance T-shirt and go down in the record books as a finisher of the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon.”
Lindsey Underhill, from Stafford, took on a marathon for the very first time in last year’s virtual Virgin Money London Marathon, with her friend Sharon Sumner.
Running for the charities Mind and Young Minds, Lindsey and Sharon broke up their run into five parts – with their first 10km starting at midnight.
The pair activated their community and were joined at various points by members of their Baswich Run4Fun running group plus other friends and family – while their local pub acted as the focal point of the day and the place to rest up between runs.
The pair ended up finishing in 19 hours, 9 minutes and 16 seconds with all their supporters cheering them (in a socially distanced way) over the Finish Line.
“It was such an ace moment, absolutely incredible,” said Lindsey. “We had members of the running group waiting socially distanced at the finish to cheer us over the line, all of whom had joined in and helped us at various points. People were cheering us on, cars were beeping their horns at us, it was amazing.
“It was our first-ever marathon and even though we had split the distance up we did look at each other at about 20 miles and think ‘this must be the wall everyone talks about’, but we had our friends there to help us through and that is why the virtual event is so special. You wouldn’t get that in a normal marathon. It has given us both confidence that we can now go on and do the whole thing in one go!
“We don’t really see ourselves as inspirations. I started running five years ago and Sharon two years ago and, for me, it’s about getting some head space. But people have come to me and said they would like to do it and that’s great.”
The virtual 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon takes place on Sunday 3 October alongside the traditional event on the same day.
Participants can complete the 26.2 miles on the course of their choice any time from 00:00:00 to 23:59:59 BST. Once again, the Virgin Money London Marathon App, powered by TCS, will enable runners to track and record their runs.
All finishers will be sent the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon New Balance finisher’s T-shirt and official medal.
To enter, click here.