2020 London Marathon will only allow elite athletes; organizers

Participants race in the 2018 London Marathon. /VCG Photo

The 2020 London Marathon will be an elite-only race with no spectators due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers announced on Thursday.

The decision means the showdown between legendary marathoners, Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya) and Kenenisa Bekele (Ethiopia), will be held without the tens of thousands of people who usually turn up to watch the event.

Scheduled to be held on 4 October, the elite races for men, women and wheelchair athletes will take place on an enclosed looped course in St James’s Park in a secure biosphere.

“We know how disappointing it is that the Covid-19 pandemic means that it’s not possible this year to run the famous course on the streets of London,” said Hugh Brasher, Event Director of the London Marathon.

The event organizers said participants who had registered to run in the 2020 race can still do so from home or courses of their choice.

“We believe that Sunday 4 October will be a London Marathon like no other, and The 40th Race will take the spirit of the world’s greatest marathon to every corner of the globe, with runners raising vital funds for the charities that have been so severely affected by the economic effects of the pandemic,” said Brasher.