British Olympic marathon contenders will battle for places in the postponed Tokyo team at Kew Gardens next Spring.

After the Olympic Championships were cancelled due to coronavirus concerns the selection trials will take place in Richmond, on Friday morning of March 26, 2021.

The race will double as the British Marathon Championships for 2021 and form part of a series of Richmond RUNFEST events that weekend.

There will also be a socially distanced Richmond Marathon and AIR:10K.

The course is 5.5km loop, which is flat, largely sheltered and is believed to be fast enough for athletes to hit the Olympic qualifying marks of 2:11:30 (men) and 2:29:30 (women).

Also, because of the other running events, the Olympic Trials can be incorporated into the existing infrastructure.

Last month, the Richmond RUNFEST team successfully put on two socially distanced 10K’s for over 3,500 runners.

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Tom Bedford, Richmond RUNFEST Race Director, 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 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!”

The borough of Richmond-Upon-Thames was the birthplace of the London Marathon and parkrun. British long distance runner Mo Farah studied at St Mary's University, Twickenham.

Cherry Alexander OBE, Major Events Director added:

“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.”

The British Championships and Olympic Trials race are invitational only but runners can still enter the ‘Richmond Marathon’ on the 27 March and ‘Air:10K’ by visiting