The 2021 London Marathon is set to take place at the end of this week, making a physical return after a virtual event was held in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

An estimated 100,000 runners are expected to take part, making this the biggest event yet in its history.

Before that though there is an important event competitors will need to attend ahead of making their way to the starting line.

The Virgin Money London Marathon Running Show begins from tomorrow (Wednesday 29 September).

It is a place to soak in the atmosphere of the famous run with a number of speakers and activities to take in.

Also, it is part of the Six Steps to the Start Line that all runners need to complete to be able to actually be allowed to run.

Here’s all you need to know about the exhibition.

What do runners need to do at the Virgin Money London Marathon Running Show?

A number of steps from the ‘Six Steps to the Start Line’ need to be completed by runners at the event.

This starts with Step 2, which is packing your kitbag in advance.

The kitbag would have been sent to runners ahead of time, and it will be handed to them once they cross the finish line on the day.

Things to put in might be warm clothing or non-perishable food items.

Even if you don’t want to put anything in, you still need to bring it to the Running Show as a souvenir medal, New Balance finisher’s T-shirt, BUXTON Natural Mineral Water and Lucozade Sport will be included regardless.

Dropping off your kitbag is the main part of attending.

Taking a lateral flow test on the day you are going to the ExCel centre is also important, as proof of a negative test and your kitbag will be required for you to pick up your bib number.

What if I cannot attend the Virgin Money London Marathon Running Show?

If you are a runner and you cannot attend the event then you can nominate someone to drop your items off for you.

They must have:

  • Your kitbag with the self-adhesive sticker attached
  • A letter, written and signed by you, authorising that person – by name – to collect your bib number and drop off your kitbag
  • A clear photocopy of your passport or driving licence showing your name and your signature
  • Evidence of their negative lateral flow test
  • Their own suitable photo identification with them

What will be on at the Virgin Money London Marathon Running Show?

Over 100 charities and other companies will have stands at the event.

This ranges from the likes of the WWF, British Heart Foundation and Alzheimer’s Research UK to Joe Nimble, Knead It Sport, Peloton and New Balance.

Additionally, special celebrity guests and experts will be there to provide insight on how best to approach the run.

BBC Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin will be one of those people, having run the virtual event last year, with talks like ‘Running Free of Injuries’ with Paul Hobrough will also be useful.

In 2019, Sir Mo Farah was one of those individuals to come along

Where does the Virgin Money London Marathon Running Show take place?

The show is taking place at ExCel London, with the closest station being the Prince Regent DLR.

Full address is: ExCel London – Entrance Hall S10, Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, London, E16 1XL.

What time is the Virgin Money London Marathon Running Show open?

It is open from Wednesday 29 September to Saturday 2 October in the build-up to the actual marathon.

From Wednesday to Friday it is open from 10am to 8pm, with slightly shorter hours on Saturday from 8.30am to 5.30pm.