Several British athletes will compete in the elite races at the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 4 October.
The elite women’s race kicks off proceedings at 7:15am live on BBC Two, before the elite men’s race at 10:15 and the elite wheelchair races at 13:12.
World Athletics announced in July that is was lifting its suspension of the Olympic qualifying system for the marathon, so the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon will be an opportunity for any athletes competing to attain the standard (2:11.30 – men / 2:29.30 – women) but competing in it is not a pre-requisite for selection to the British team for the Olympics. There will be no pre-selection following the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon and selection will take place following a trial (to be confirmed) in 2021.
In the elite women’s race, Steph Twell gained a standard last year following her 2:26.40 personal best in Frankfurt. Following a spell on training in St Moritz, the Aldershot, Farnham & District athlete will hit the streets of London with confidence as she moved to sixth on the UK all-time list after her PB last year.
Other British athletes to keep an eye on – who don’t currently hold an Olympic qualifying standard – include Lily Partridge (Birchfield), Tracy Barlow (Tom Craggs; Thames Valley) and Tish Jones (Belgrave).
In the elite men’s race, Jonny Mellor (Steve Vernon; Liverpool Harriers) leads the British challenge following his significant PB of 2:10.03 set in Seville in February.
Chris Thompson (Alan Storey; AFD) and Josh Griffiths (Swansea) are among a large portion of British men within the field, while Ben Connor (Derby) and Ross Millington (Vernon; Stockport) will make their debuts over the 26.2-mile distance.
In the elite men’s wheelchair race, eight-time champion David Weir (Jenny Archer; Weir Archer Academy) will be among the favourites for title number nine. Paralympic Marcel Hug (SUI) will also be a favourite for the title, while JohnBoy Smith (Christine Parsloe), Simon Lawson (Ian Thompson; Carlisle Tri) and Callum Hall (Leeds) are others to keep an eye on from a British point of view.
Shelly Woods (Peter Wyman; Blackpool, Wyre & Fylde) is the only British representative in the elite women’s wheelchair race. The two-time champion will compete in her first London Marathon since 2014.
More information can be found here: https://www.virginmoneylondonmarathon.com/index.html
All races at the Virgin Money London Marathon will be on BBC One and Two on Sunday 4 October 2020.