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London Marathon organisers to allow 100,000 people to take part this year

London Marathon organisers have announced plans for a record 50,000 runners to take part in the race in October – with another 50,000 being offered the chance to participate remotely.

Last year’s mass-participation race did not take place for the first time in the event’s 40-year history because of coronavirus restrictions.

Instead, an elite-only race was held around London’s St James’s Park in October, while 37,966 runners completed their own marathons on the day – a feat which was ratified on Thursday by the Guinness World Records as the ‘most users to run a remote marathon in 24 hours’.

There are ambitious plans to allow 100,000 people to run in this year's London Marathon

There are ambitious plans to allow 100,000 people to run in this year's London Marathon

There are ambitious plans to allow 100,000 people to run in this year’s London Marathon

Shura Kitata of Ethiopia crosses the line in first place in the 2020 edition of famous race

Shura Kitata of Ethiopia crosses the line in first place in the 2020 edition of famous race

Shura Kitata of Ethiopia crosses the line in first place in the 2020 edition of famous race

Fans were not able to attend last year's London Marathon but usually they line the streets

Fans were not able to attend last year's London Marathon but usually they line the streets

Fans were not able to attend last year’s London Marathon but usually they line the streets 

Organisers had already moved this year’s London Marathon to October 3 from its traditional slot of April.

And despite the current national lockdown, they are confident the vaccine roll-out will mean the number of runners on the startline in the capital in the autumn will surpass the 42,906 who took part in 2019.

Event director Hugh Brasher said: ‘We are incredibly positive that we will be able to have 50,000 people running the London Marathon in person in 2021.

Hugh Brasher, the marathon's event director, said he was confident the mass run could go ahead in October after news all adults would be offered a first vaccination dose by September

Hugh Brasher, the marathon's event director, said he was confident the mass run could go ahead in October after news all adults would be offered a first vaccination dose by September

Hugh Brasher, the marathon’s event director, said he was confident the mass run could go ahead in October after news all adults would be offered a first vaccination dose by September

Kenyan world-record holder Brigid Kosgei reigned supreme in the women's race last October. Only elite athletes were allowed to run in a 'controlled secure biosphere' last year

Kenyan world-record holder Brigid Kosgei reigned supreme in the women's race last October. Only elite athletes were allowed to run in a 'controlled secure biosphere' last year

Kenyan world-record holder Brigid Kosgei reigned supreme in the women’s race last October. Only elite athletes were allowed to run in a ‘controlled secure biosphere’ last year

Elite runners ran round St James's Park while 45,000 participants ran own courses virtually

Elite runners ran round St James's Park while 45,000 participants ran own courses virtually

Elite runners ran round St James’s Park while 45,000 participants ran own courses virtually

‘The Government has been talking about the fact that everyone will be vaccinated in the country by September. This is October 3, so we really hope that this is a beacon of hope in the future.’

The combined target of 100,000 in-person and virtual runners would break another record for most participants in a marathon – currently held by the 2018 New York Marathon, which had 53,121 starters.

Brasher added: ‘Doubling the number of people doing the London Marathon will be a really important lifeline to charities in this incredibly difficult time for them.

‘Allowing people to take part virtually also opens it up to those runners or walkers who might feel daunted by being in crowds, who need shielding, or simply want to break the challenge up into smaller bits throughout the day.’

Sir Mo Farah (C) at the start of Men's London Marathon in 2019 - the last time fans were present

Sir Mo Farah (C) at the start of Men's London Marathon in 2019 - the last time fans were present

Sir Mo Farah (C) at the start of Men’s London Marathon in 2019 – the last time fans were present

Runners wearing London Marathon running numbers cross Tower Bridge as some 45,000 people ran or walked the 40th London Marathon along their own 26.2-mile route in 2020

Runners wearing London Marathon running numbers cross Tower Bridge as some 45,000 people ran or walked the 40th London Marathon along their own 26.2-mile route in 2020

Runners wearing London Marathon running numbers cross Tower Bridge as some 45,000 people ran or walked the 40th London Marathon along their own 26.2-mile route in 2020

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