Prince Harry sends heartwarming message as London Marathon 2020 gets underway

Prince Harry has offered his support to those taking on the London Marathon with the annual race taking place in an unusual manner.

Originally scheduled for April, the contest will take place today in the capital with only elite athletes running through the streets of London.

The Duke of Sussex, who is also patron of the London Marathon Charitable Trust, wished people good luck.

He also thanks participants for offering a "lifeline" to vulnerable people who have suffered during the pandemic by raising money for charities.

As many as 45,000 people will still take place in the event by running their own 26.2-mile route.

Participants can run the distance wherever they want in the world with people in 109 different countries expected to take part between midnight and 11.59pm.

Event director Hugh Brasher told PA: "It was about inclusivity, removing the pressure that people can feel on event day.

"There's a reason we have a cut-off, because we have to reopen roads, to reopen London to get it back up and running. But that pressure is removed.


"We are delighted to say that's how we believe the 40th race should be run. A celebration of achievement.

"That was always part of the thinking. This is not the same as it has been for the other 39 years. For some people it's better, for some people it's not as good."

Catherine Woodhead, who is chief executive of Muscular Dystrophy UK, is one of 117 people taking part to help the charity who have suffered huge losses this year.


She is set to walk 26.2 miles from her home in Chelmsford, Essex and said she would not have felt able to take part in the event had it been held in central London.

Those running the marathon in the capital are expected to encounter harsh weather conditions with the Met Office rain warning in place until noon.

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