Olympic hopefuls to compete for spot at Tokyo Games in Kew Gardens

  Posted: 21.11.20 at 15:51 by Sam Petherick

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Britain’s best runners are coming to town as Kew Gardens was chosen as the host venue for British Athletics’ marathon trials for next year’s Olympic Games.

The trial is being held by Richmond RUNFEST on the same weekend in March that it holds its own Richmond Marathon and Air:10K events, giving amateur runners some added motivation and inspiration.

In September, the runfest team successfully put on two socially distanced 10k runs for more than 3,500 runners on a course that is known for being sheltered and flat.

Race director Tom Bedford said: "In 2013, Richmond RUNFEST was created as a London Olympic Legacy event and it is a privilege for us to help our country's top marathon runners book an Olympic place for Tokyo in 2021.

“The borough of Richmond-Upon-Thames is the epicentre of British running history.

Read more: Calendar of post-lockdown races near Richmond that you can enter

Runners in Kew Gardens

“It was the birthplace of the London Marathon and parkrun. Mo Farah was finely tuned up as an Olympic gold machine at St Mary's University and Kew Gardens even played a part in raising the Olympic spirit going into London 2012, celebrating ‘100 days to go’ and the Olympic Torch relay.

“The Olympic Marathon Trials outside of the London Marathon is a unique but exciting prospect and during the hardest of years we hope that Richmond will once again rejuvenate the Olympic spirit of 2012 and make history again!”

British Athletics major events director Cherry Alexander said: “We’re delighted to confirm the British Championships incorporating the Olympic Marathon Trial race is to be held at Kew Gardens. It is an iconic venue and lends itself well to a marathon course over multiple laps.

“It’s great to be able to tap into the expertise of working with Tom who has experience of delivering races at the venue.

“His knowledge of what the athletes will need from the race will ensure we are putting them at the heart of the event and providing a great platform on which to perform well.”

Richmond Marathon map

The multi-lap marathon trials take place on Friday, March 26 and doubles up as the British Marathon Championships for 2021 with invited athletes gunning for a Tokyo Olympic spot later on that year.

Unfortunately for keen Richmond runners, the race is invitational-only.

They can still enter the Richmond Marathon and Air:10K by visiting www.richmondrunfest.co.uk.

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