We’re starting to see sporting events return across the world as many look for ways to tackle the current challenges that have come with the pandemic – with crowds not being allowed in attendance at stadiums, to restrictions on how many staff are allowed to attend an event. But as many of these events are returning, many are also preparing for the return of professional running as we’re quickly approaching some bigger events such as the London Marathon which had been rescheduled for October 4th

The mass of runners crossing Tower Bridge. The Virgin Money London Marathon, Sunday 24th April 2016.
Photo: Thomas Lovelock for Virgin Money London Marathon

The first challenge to overcome will be within the sheer number of runners – over 40,000 attended the race in 2019 but with current social distancing measures in place it’s going to be virtually impossible to ensure the safety of each runner unless there can be some testing guarantees or some way to manage the larger groups of people. This may be especially important for some of the more professional runners, as athletes many may see attending the marathon as a health risk if measures aren’t put in place to help disperse the crowd at the start of the race but as nothing has been mentioned for this just yet there’s still uncertainty around whether or not the event will be moved again or if there are plans to place restrictions on attendance. 

If the London Marathon is to continue as planned, the winner of last year in Eliud Kipchoge will remain a favourite after setting a new course record of 2:02:37 in 2019 – despite recent changes impacting many operators in the UK there are many betting operators that will be representing the marathon and Max Casinos review them to help you find the best choice – whether the different conditions as running in the cold October autumn in the UK is a very different experience will make a difference is yet to be seen.

As mentioned with other sports the crowd is also an important factor here – a huge part of many who take part is the crowd of people that line the streets offering encouragement to the runners to finish, whether these are strangers, friends, or family – but just as the 40,000 stronger runners can be seen as a health risk, the many attendees that go to cheer on the race may be seen as the same. If social distancing measures are to remain heading into October then there is of course the possibility that the number of fans who can attend the marathon for spectating will be severely reduced or even forbidden completely – whilst the UK itself is seeing a reduction in infection numbers, domestic fans are only make up a portion of those who visit – international visitors may be urged to stay home and watch the live broadcast rather than flying into the country which may lead to a very different dynamic at the event. 

There’s many questions to be asked, with few answers currently available – as of now the event is still set to go ahead but as mentioned this could change at any moment, October is quickly approaching though and measures to safeguard the event need to be announced sooner rather than lather, otherwise it’s entirely possible we see a further delay.