London Marathon and Parkrun events to start again as Covid restrictions ease

Switzerland's Marcel Hug in action during the Elite Wheelchair race during the Virgin Money London…

The London Marathon and Parkrun events have confirmed they will return after the Government announced that England would proceed to Step 4 of the road map on July 19.

  • The Standard Chartered Great City Race, which sees city workers run 5km around the city of London, kicks off the return of the races on July 20

  • Parkrun, the weekly community event which takes place each Saturday morning in parks across Britain, returns to England on July 24

  • The London Marathon – which usually takes place in April – is being held on October 3.

Hugh Brasher, event director of London Marathon Events, said: “It is wonderful to confirm that our great mass participation events are returning across the country.

Ethiopia's Shura Kitata wins The Elite Men's Race during the Virgin Money London Marathon around St James' Park in 2020

“Extensive scientific research worldwide has shown that the risk of transmission of Covid-19 outdoors is negligible.

“The UK’s event organisers have worked together to ensure the safe return of mass participation sports events outdoors by participating in the Government’s Events Research Programme and collaborating on a range of protocols that ensure our events will be safe and Covid-secure.”

Paul Foster, chief executive of the Great Run Company, added: “Participants in the MSO’s calendar of events generate more than £250 million every year for charities and these funds are so desperately needed now, as the services of charities are vital to support vulnerable members of society.”

On Monday, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said it was the “right time to get our nation closer to normal life”.

In a press conference later that evening, Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed the lockdown easing, adding that people should “proceed now with caution”.