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2020 London Marathon will only feature elite runners and take new route

The 2020 London Marathon will use a different route and will only include elite runners when it takes place on 4 October.

The event, which has been pushed back from April, will not take the usual London road course and will instead take place on a looped 26.2 mile (42.2km) course around St James’s Park.

No spectators will be permitted as the runners complete 19.8 laps of the park, which will also not involve the 45,000 “mass-event” runners due to coronavirus concerns.

Eliud Kipchoge is expected to feature in the mens race
Eliud Kipchoge is expected to feature in the men’s race

Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele are expected to take part in the men’s race.

Meanwhile, the women’s race will be headlined by world record holder Brigid Kosegi, while Manuela Schar and David Weir will feature in the wheelchair event.

Athletes’ times will be eligible for qualification for the Tokyo Olympics, which had to be rescheduled to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year’s London Marathon will be the 40th edition of the race.

Next year’s London Marathon has already been pushed back from April to 3 October 2021 to maximise the possibility of a mass race returning.

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London Marathon event director Hugh Brasher said the increased likelihood of a second spike led to the recent cancellation of spectator trials at major events.

He said: “Despite all our efforts, the fantastic support from all of our partners and the progress that has been made on planning for the return of smaller mass participation events that are not on the roads, it has not been possible to go ahead with a mass socially distanced walk or run.”

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