‘We will not give up hope’: London Marathon director updates runners

Hugh Brasher, event director of London Marathon, has updated runners on the status of this year’s event.

Earlier this week the Great North Run was cancelled, but Mr Brasher said this did not mean London Marathon would necessarily meet the same fate, as all races face “unique challenges”.

He said his team had been working to discover “innovative ways” to socially distance the marathon, as well as collaborating with other organisers to make recommendations to the government on how mass participation events can return.

“There are currently just over 15 weeks before the planned date of our 40th Race [4 October],” he said. “Therefore, on the usual timescale for our event, we are currently at the equivalent of the first week of January.

“That means there is still plenty of time to train and there is neither a need, nor should there be a desire, to be at your peak fitness yet.

“We still don’t know whether we will be able run together, walk together and be together on that journey of 26.2 miles on 4 October. Almost every day we hear hopeful news from other countries and we hear tales of despair.

“However, what we do know is that we have hope, desire and ingenuity. Hope that the world will have found a way through Covid-19 by October. Desire to show the positive effects of running a marathon, running for communities and good causes. Ingenuity of thought, technology and people.”

Mr Brasher urged the public to focus on their own health and the health of those around them, and said the next update would be issued on 28 July.

“I assure you that whatever decision we take about 4 October, it will be taken in line with our values and with the responsibility we have to you, our runners, our charities, our sponsors, our volunteers, our medics, our communities and our city,” he added.

“While some may think what we are trying to do on Sunday 4 October is impossible, we will not give up hope.

“The 40th Race should be a day that shows the best of humanity. A togetherness, a joy and a celebration of everything we treasure.

“I look forward to that day.”

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