The 40th edition of the London Marathon is set to take place this Sunday.
The race, which was due to take place on 26 April but was delayed by five months due to the coronavirus pandemic, will operate in an unfamiliar format with elite-only runners, and records may well fall on the new ‘faster’ circuit.
The elite athletes are set to cover 19 clockwise laps of a 2.15km route around St James’s Park, with the traditional finish on The Mall completing the 26.195-mile race.
Here’s everything you need to know about watching the London Marathon:
When is it?
The women’s race will be under way from 07:15 BST on Sunday, and from 10:15 BST, the elite men will be racing. The wheelchair races will be starting from 13:10 BST.
Who is taking part?
Defending women’s champion and world record holder Brigid Kosgei will be looking to set a world-leading time, while world record holder and defending champion Eliud Kipchoge will take part in the men’s race, in which Olympic champion Sir Mo Farah will be filling the role of pacemaker.
British Paralympic champion David Weir will be looking for a record ninth London Marathon win in the men’s wheelchair race, with defending champion Manuela Schar hoping for another victory in the women’s race.
Where can I watch it?
Live coverage on Sunday:
Women’s race: 07:00-10:00 – BBC Two and BBC iPlayer
Men’s race: 10:00-13:00 – BBC One and BBC iPlayer
Wheelchair races: 13:00-15:20 – BBC Two and BBC iPlayer
Highlights on Sunday:
19:00-20:00 – BBC Red Button
00:00-01:00 – BBC Two
03:00-12:00 – BBC Red Button (repeat)
How will it differ from most years?
The London Marathon race director Hugh Brasher believes that this route will be faster than the traditional one and that records are likely to be achieved if the weather is dry.
He said: “Heavy rain is not ideal conditions to do a world record in. So we’re doing the opposite of a rain dance. We have some athletes in great shape, but they’ve all been training in unique conditions and we can’t control the weather. And so it is probably the most difficult marathon to predict. But I believe there will be some incredible racing that will live long in people’s memories – and it could be incredibly quick.”
Brasher also established that athletes will be welcome to take a knee before the racing begins to show respect for the Black Lives Matter movement.
He stated: “Black Lives Matter is enormously important. We don’t know what athletes are going to do but we will support them in whatever they want to do. That’s the power sport has to raise awareness.”
The 45,000 non-elite runners that were due to take part in the marathon are able to run in a ‘24-hour virtual London Marathon’ where they are able to clock 26.2 miles within a 24-hour period on Sunday.
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