THE Wharfedale Valley will for the first time host the London Marathon on Sunday, October 4.

Two local fundraisers have signed up to take part in the event which is being hosted virtually this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Antony Butcher and Lizzie Blowey will be walking 26.2 miles in one day to raise money for the MS Society as Antony’s mum lives with Multiple Sclerosis.

Starting from Burley Hall Care Home, where Antony’s mum lives, they will walk through Burley-in-Wharfedale, Ben Rhydding, Ilkley, and Addingham before completing two loops of Bolton Abbey, before returning all the way back to Burley-in-Wharfedale.

The pair are no stranger to fundraising, having previously raised over £20,000 for a number of different charities.

Last year Antony ran the London Marathon, although as he explained: “a training injury in my left knee returned just after I crossed Tower Bridge and I was unable to bend my left leg, so I ended up limping the next 13 miles.”

This year Antony was meant to be taking on an even bigger challenge by cycling solo across America, but this remains on hold due to Covid-19.

This year they will be joining thousands of other people taking on the London Marathon all around the world.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the London Marathon, and the fact it is taking place remotely means people can run, jog, or walk it, as the maximum time limit is now 24 hours.

Lizzie said: “I’m excited, if a little nervous, to be able to take part in the London Marathon this year, as it’s always been a dream of mine.

“We’ve been trying to get out on walks every day after working from home for over six months during lockdown, so this has been great training for our fundraising walk.

“We think the walk will be about 10 hours so it will be a long day!”

For more information, and to track them on the day, head to or to sponsor them online visit

Only elite athletes will be competing in the event in the capital this year. Special permission has been granted by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to allow athletes and support staff to travel and compete in the biosecure bubble, with strict guidelines on testing, travel, accommodation and competition.