London Marathon Events has announced that Flora, which served as the headline sponsor of the London Marathon from 1996 to 2009, will return to the race in a new partnership, running from 2020 until 2023.
The renewed partnership between the pair will begin ahead of the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon - The 40th Race - on Sunday, 4th October. Earlier this month, London Marathon Events announced that the 2020 event would go ahead as an elite event only around a closed-loop course in London’s St James’s Park. Participating runners, however, will be encouraged to participate by running the 26.2 mile distance virtually on a course of their own choosing.
Flora will launch a new initiative to support those very runners in this year’s race who are fundraising for small charities. Every week until race day, the company will donate £1,000 to one lucky marathon participant, with further prizes such as running kit and places in the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon also offered.
The initiative comes as the UK charity sector is facing an estimated £10.1billion funding shortfall as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Flora has also announced that Paula Radcliffe, who won the marathon three times, breaking two world records when Flora was headline sponsor of the event, has become an official Flora Running Ambassador in order to kick off the renewed partnership.
Radcliffe will provide exclusive training and nutrition tips for a new ‘Keep Running’ content hub launched by the brand.
“We’re really excited for Flora to be partnering with the Virgin Money London Marathon. Flora has been an iconic and versatile brand within British kitchens for generations and a staple of nutrition plans for runners since the 1960s,” said Catherine Lloyd, Marketing Director UK & Ireland, Flora.
“Many still remember when the event was known as the Flora London Marathon, so we’re delighted to rekindle our friendship and be back in the race.
“As an official partner we plan to support seasoned runners and new-found running enthusiasts with tips from our running ambassador and Flora friend Paula Radcliffe on how runners can balance healthy eating as part of a sustainable, nutritious training diet.”
Paula Radcliffe said: “I am thrilled about Flora coming back on board as an official partner of the London Marathon and delighted to be partnering with them as the Flora Running Ambassador. All of my wins in London came when the race was known as the Flora London Marathon and this partnership ties in with my beliefs on healthy living and keeping the family active and eating healthily.
“When I first started running, my pre-race fuel was always a slice of wholemeal toast, with Flora on top and a hot tin of tomatoes with cheese crumbled in.”
Hugh Brasher, Event Director of the Virgin Money London Marathon, added: “Everyone has such fond memories of our previous partnership with Flora and we are delighted to be able to renew that relationship.
“It is particularly fitting that Flora, which has played such a large part in our history, is back as a partner for The 40th Race on Sunday 4 October.
“It says so much about the status of the London Marathon that we are welcoming this new partnership at a time when so many businesses in so many industries are facing an uncertain future.”