When is the London Marathon 2021? Date and route of iconic running event - and how to defer place to 2022

It is the second year in a row that the London Marathon has been moved from its traditional April date due to Covid

The iconic London Marathon is just around the corner, with thousands of runners taking to the streets of the city to complete the 26.2-mile route (Photo: Shutterstock)

Thousands of runners are set to take to the streets of England’s capital as the iconic London Marathon returns for 2021.

No fewer than 50,000 people are expected to take to the start line for an energy sapping 26.2-mile route when one of the world’s most famous endurance events gets underway.

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Here’s all you need to know about when the London Marathon 2021 takes place, what this year’s route is, virtual event details and how to defer your entry to 2022 if required.

When is the London Marathon 2021?

In 2021, the Virgin Money London Marathon will take place on Sunday 3 October.

It is the second year in a row that the race has been moved from its traditional April date due to the Covid pandemic.

No fewer than 50,000 people will be running on the streets of London and another 50,000 will be taking on the 26.2-mile route from wherever they are in the world.

What is this year’s London Marathon route?

The London Marathon route runs from Blackheath in the south east of London to the finish line at The Mall.

Thousands of runners will make their way through Greenwich before passing over the Thames as they cross Tower Bridge.

The route will then continue through central London, passing Canary Wharf and a whole host of famous landmarks, such as the London Eye and Big Ben.

The runners will then pass Buckingham Palace and run the final stretch of The Mall to reach the finish line.

Can I still take part in this year’s marathon?

Although general entries have sold out for this year’s marathon, charity places are still available in both the mass and virtual events.

The Virgin Money marathon website has a full list of charities which still have places available. 

What is the virtual event?

If you’d like to do this year’s run virtually instead of out on the streets of London then you can also still sign up for a charity place.

You will have 24 hours to complete the 26.2-mile challenge, so you can walk, jog or run it anywhere you like.

The virtual event allows you to choose your own route, invite friends to join you and fund raise for charity all at the same time.

For both the virtual event and in-person event, Virgin Money offers Beginners, Improvers and Advanced Training Plans, which have been carefully developed by London Marathon experts to help runners get the most out of their training and the best possible result on Marathon Day.

How do I defer my place to 2022?

If you are unable to take part in this year’s marathon you will need to withdraw your entry.

You will be able to do this from Wednesday 1 September.

You may then be eligible to defer your entry to next year’s event, depending on the type of entry that you have.

If you originally had a place in the 2019 event, deferred it to 2020 and then opted to roll it over to 2021, you will not be able to defer your place again if you are unable to take part in this year’s race.

If you originally had a place in the 2020 event and opted to roll this over to 2021, you will be able to defer your place to 2022.

You will need to pay the 2022 entry fee of £49 in due course to secure your place.

If you got your place through the ballot for the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon - or you have a guaranteed place from a running club or a stakeholder - you can defer your place to 2022.

If your place was provided by a charity, it’s not possible for you to defer it if you’re unable to take part as the place belongs to the charity.

You will need to withdraw from the event and contact the charity directly to discuss your options. It is down to the charity’s discretion if it allows you to defer your place to a future year.

If your place was provided and due to be paid for by a sponsor, it’s not possible for you to defer it if you’re unable to take part on 3 October.

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