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London Marathon event director Hugh Brasher said he is very optimistic the London Marathon will take place this year with around 50,000 amateur runners.

The event, which has been rescheduled from April to 3 October, usually attracts around 750,000 spectators and involves the work of 6,000 volunteers.

In 2020 the event, which also took place in October, was restricted to elite athletes who competed on a closed-loop course due to Covid-19 event restrictions. Some 38,000 runners took part virtually, and the plan is to invite a further 50,000 people to take part in the event virtually this year by using a tracking app.

In an interview with the BBC, Brasher said, “The government has been talking about the fact that everyone will be vaccinated in the country by September. This is 3 October, so we really hope that this is a beacon of hope in the future. And that we really are living in a different world to what we are now in.

“We’re talking to scientists, we’re talking to other organisers around the world, where events are happening around the world, how they have happened. And that’s why we are positive about 3 October.

“The London Marathon has to do what is right for society. It is far bigger than just for the runners. This is about the National Health Service, this is about charities, this is about communities. It is about bringing people together.

“We are incredibly positive that we will be able to have 50,000 people running the London Marathon in person in 2021. Time will tell.”