Due to the impact of Covid-19, it was recently announced that only elite runners will be allowed to take part in the Virgin London Marathon 2020 and that this would be happening in a secure biosphere at St James Park this October. Results from the race will be used for Olympic qualification instead of the event being the usual mass-participated run through crowded streets of London! For runners who aren’t in the elite races, they can either take part at home or defer to run in the following years.
These changes will have a very disappointing impact on the charity sector for which the London Marathon is a huge fundraising event. Mencap are Virgin London Marathon’s official charity of the year and they had planned to use the 26.2 mile run “to put learning disability on the map, and raise a target of £1.5m for people with a learning disability”. Their aim is to improve the attitudes towards and quality of life of people with learning disabilities through services and projects such as their helpline. Their fundraising strategy to achieve the target will need to be sharply re-addressed.