london marathon virtual event

2020 was the 13th successive year of partnership between Guinness World Records and Virgin Money London Marathon and was set to give participants the chance to become official record title holders back in April.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the marathon was postponed until October and even then only the elite runners competed, on a biosecure closed-loop circuit around St James's Park.

The first ever virtual Virgin Money London Marathon was held on Sunday 4th October 2020 and allowed participants all over the world to run the marathon distance on a course of their choice between 00:00 - 23:59:59 BST. 

This new venture meant that the Guinness World Records title for most users to run a remote marathon in 24 hours was achieved, with an astounding 37,966 people taking part.

All finishers received a finisher's t-shirt and medal.

The team at Virgin Money London Marathon were delighted with the success of this trailblazing virtual event.

"The world record-breaking success of the virtual event in 2020 and the incredible stories from participants across the globe showed how the world’s greatest marathon brought light and hope in the darkness of the pandemic," - Hugh Brasher, Virgin Money London Marathon Event Director

"2020 was the year that we saw a spike in virtual record breaking and the Virgin Money London Marathon was no exception," said Craig Glenday, Editor-in-Chief at Guinness World Records.

"To see that 37,966 people took part in the 2020 race is outstanding and every single participant should be proud of their efforts.

"We are looking forward to seeing more record-breaking attempts at the Virgin Money London Marathon in 2021."

London Marathon Events have confirmed the virtual Virgin Money London Marathon will return this year with 50,000 places available globally for runners to take on the marathon on the course of their choice from 00:00 – 23:59:59 on 3 October.

On the same day, organisers plan a record 50,000 participants will run from Blackheath to The Mall in the traditional mass-participation Virgin Money London Marathon on the streets of the capital, an increase of more than 7,000 on the previous finisher record.

If you would like to break a record at the traditional 2021 race, you can apply for a record. However, you must have secured a place with Virgin Money London Marathon; places are not available via Guinness World Records.