Hugh Brasher on the 2021 Virtual Virgin Money London Marathon: "You've got 23 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds to do it."

Virgin Radio

16 Feb 2021, 14:48

Running a marathon is a rite of passage for many, but if the thought of heading to London to do it doesn’t appeal – you’re in luck. Tickets go on general sale at 10am today for the 2021 Virtual Virgin Money London Marathon. Event organiser Hugh Brasher joined the Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky this morning and told Sam Pinkham all about it.

The pandemic meant the usual event was cancelled last year, with just the elite event taking place. A virtual version happened, and it was a roaring success says Hugh: “It's basically about doing the marathon your way and doing it from your home with your community. Last year, it was the most amazing success, so much positivity, strangers cheering at you, all around the country,” he recalls.

“We're doing it again this year with people running from Greenwich to Westminster but also from their streets around Great Britain, in fact, around the world.”

Hugh and his team have set their sights even higher, after breaking a World Record last year for the number of people running a virtual marathon on the same day. “Last year nearly 38,000 people ran the virtual event. This year, we're going for 50,000, which would make it the largest virtual event in the world,” explains Hugh.

If you ran last year, make sure you get this incredible memento: “Everyone who went last year can now get a Guinness World Record certificate. That's got to be a good thing to put in your loo at home!” he laughs “Or wherever you want to put it. We hope that we'll get 100,000 people in total to make it the biggest marathon. 50,000 people on the streets of London with the world watching, hopefully with the whole of the UK vaccinated.”

The Marathon normally takes place in April, but this year the virtual one will be in October. Sam and Vassos asked if the move could be permanent.

Hugh thinks not: “We do think April is better. Its spring and summer is on its way. However, I mean, October is still great, because people have been training in the summertime. You know, everyone has different preferences.”

“For me, I prefer that incentive of getting out now. It's hard, but if you've got something that you know you're entering, it gives you that extra impetus just to go out. So the weather is generally better in April, but you never know what it's gonna be in this country do you”.

Hugh says the virtual edition of the marathon allows it to be as inclusive as possible. It’s not just for the super-fit elite runners. “It’s just about getting out there. It's about doing it your way. It's just so inclusive. You've got 23 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds to do it.”

“If we can get that 100,000 people, it would just be quite incredible. You can choose your route. You can decide to go to a pub, you can decide to go to pubs, you can break it up, you know get a little route going past your house. If it was me, I know that I would go 26.2 miles away from my house so every step took me a little closer to home.”

Will you be running?

Tickets are on sale now for the virtual event, click here.