London Marathon plans for 100,000 runners this year

FILE PHOTO: Athletics - London Marathon - London, Britain - April 28, 2019 General view at the finish of the London marathon REUTERS/Matthew Childs

LONDON (Reuters) - This year's London Marathon is set to break new ground with a record 50,000 runners expected to tackle the course on the city's streets while another 50,000 compete in a remote race "wherever they are on the planet", organisers said on Thursday.

The virtual London Marathon was held for the first time last year after the actual race was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly 38,000 runners took part to set a Guinness World Record for the most in a remote marathon in 24 hours.

With a national vaccination drive underway, organisers also hope to have 50,000 runners for the traditional race on Oct. 3.

The virtual marathon allows participants to run on a 26.2-mile course of their choice but they must complete it on Oct. 3.

"The world record-breaking success of the virtual event in 2020 and the incredible stories from participants across the globe showed how the... marathon brought light and hope in the darkness of the pandemic," said event director Hugh Brasher.

"We want to offer that again and we have also accelerated the plans we have been working on for some years to increase the number of finishers on the streets of London to 50,000," he added in a statement.

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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