The 2020 London Marathon will be an elite-athlete only event, organisers have announced.
Elite races for men, women and wheelchair athletes will take place on an enclosed looped course in St James’s Park on October 4 in a secure biosphere, with the times counting towards Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualification.
Athletes confirmed for the race include Eliud Kipchoge, Kenenisa Bekele, women’s world record holder Brigid Kosgei and para athletes David Weir and Manuela Schar.
No spectators will be allowed at the 40th London Marathon, but BBC Sport will broadcast coverage of the race, encompassing 19.8 laps around the park and finishing in the traditional place on the Mall.
“Today is a day of sadness, but also I think it’s a day of certainty,” event director Hugh Brasher said, hailing the “inclusivity” of the new-look race.
“It’s a day where we’re announcing what is appropriate – we think – for the 40th race. It’s certainly not something we ever expected to do.”
He added: “We hope people will get inspiration from the gods of our sport still battling it out over those 26.2 miles in the only world marathon race that is taking place in the fall.
“And still having Eliud Kipchoge, Kenenisa Bekele, Brigid Kosgei, Manuela Schar, David Weir… they’ll take the inspiration from those athletes, on the journey that will be incredibly personal to them. We will celebrate that journey from a distance, but in spirit, together.”
Those who had planned to take part in the event – originally postponed from April 26 to October due to the coronavirus pandemic – have been offered the option to defer their places to the 2021, 2022 or 2023 events.
The 41st race in 2021 is also set to take place in the autumn, on October 3, to give people more certainty and confidence in the event going ahead.
Additionally, 45,000 people who were supposed to take part in the event in the spring will take part in a “virtual race” across the world, receiving a finisher’s medal and...