03 October 2020

London Marathon 2020: What time? How to watch, Who is running?

This year's 40th London Marathon is set to be a thrilling race with world-class athletes, but for the first time it will be for elite runners only due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The women’s race is set to feature the likes of Kenya stars world champion Ruth Chepngetich, who will go head-to-head with world record holder and defending champion Brigid Kosgei.

Kosgei broke Paula Radcliffe’s world record by 81 seconds at the 2019 Chicago Marathon where she clocked 2:14:04, and she may be on target to do it again.  

Brigid Kosgei says she 'will try her best' at the iconic event (PA)

The event was postponed from April and is the second major marathon to go ahead this year and will be held with no crowds.

Headlining the men’s race will be world record holder Eliud Kipchoge after three-time Olympic gold medalist Kenenisa Bekele from Ethiopia recently pulled out due to a calf injury.

Eliud Kipchoge (far left) training ahead of the weekend (Xinhua News Agency/PA Images)

Kenya's four-time winner Kipchoge recorded the first sub-two-hour marathon in Austria last year, but it did not count as it wasn’t in open competition. 

His world record time stands at 2:01:39 which he recorded at the 2018 Berlin Marathon.

Defending champions Manuela Schär and Daniel Romanchuk will lead the field in the wheelchair races. 

Schär from Switzerland is the world record holder and won nine major marathon races in a row before she missed the 2020 Tokyo Marathon in March.

Romanchuk won the Boston Marathon last year where he became the youngest ever winner of that race, as well as the first American to win at Boston since 1993.

All the elite races will take place on an enclosed looped course in St James’s Park in a secure biosphere.

 It will start on Horse Guards Road and athletes will run 19 laps in total.

Here is everything you need to know ahead of Sunday’s race.

When is it?

Sunday, October 4

What time does it start?

07:15am – The Elite Women's Race

10:15am – The Elite Men's Race

13:10pm – Wheelchair races

How can I watch?

Coverage of the race will be available to watch from 7am on BBC Two. 

BBC One will then takeover at 10am for the men’s elite race.

At 1pm coverage will then switch back to BBC Two for the wheelchair races. 

How can I stream it?

Viewers will be able to stream the event via BBC iPlayer. 

Why is the race only for elite runners?

Due to the coronavirus pandemic organisers were forced to only allow elite runners at the event. 

However, runners will be able to take part in the event virtually. Participants will have 23 hours 59 minutes and 59 seconds (from 00:00 to 23:59:59 BST) to complete the 26.2 miles. 

This can be done using the London Marathon app where runners will be able to log their run, walk or jog.

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