April 11 - Runners who have been unable to gain an entry to the Virgin Money London Marathon - and over the years almost two million would-be athletes have missed out - will have an opportunity to take part next year whatever the circumstances following the creation of "the world's first digital marathon experience".
The London Marathon, in partnership with Paofit, has created a unique interactive 3D running experience that combines HD videos of the London course with virtual reality avatars, thus offering the experience of running the London Marathon to anyone who has downloaded the appropriate programme to their treadmill either at home or in the gym.
Participating runners will download the Paofit app to an iPad - iPhone version available shortly and Android later in the year - and set it on a treadmill.
The vibration generated by running on the treadmill makes the course ahead speed up, slow down or come to a complete stop, reflecting the runner's step count.
Runners will see their own running avatar and the avatars of the other participants in real-time and can overtake - or be overtaken - on screen.
The general invitation to run the Digital Virgin Money London Marathon will be out from 10am GMT on April 26 2015, in parallel with the actual race.
But the experience will be available all year round.
"Over the years, nearly two million people have been unable to get a place in London Marathon through our ballot," said race director Hugh Brasher.
"Now, with our digital partners Paofit, we are opening the greatest marathon in the world to treadmill runners, everywhere.
"We hope it will inspire many more runners to take up the marathon challenge and, by doing so, raise even more money for charitable causes."
Brasher added: "Imagine lining up in Greenwich and hearing the cheers of the crowd as you run past the famous London landmarks of the Cutty Sark, Tower Bridge, Canary Wharf, the London Eye, the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace to the finish on The Mall, experiencing the unique atmosphere of the day without ever leaving your home or gym."
Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, added: "The Digital Virgin Money London Marathon will make the world's greatest marathon accessible to people across the world, 365 days of the year."
To register for the 2015 Digital Virgin Money London Marathon, click here.
Full registration information will be sent out later in the year.
This year's marathon on the streets of London is on Sunday (April 13).
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