Virgin Active is letting marathon runners train for free in London gyms this week, but only if you wear a costume

Edith Hancock
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Will gym-goers sustain injuries from prolonged staring at sponsored marathon runners?
on't be too unnerved if your colleagues are changing into chicken suits for their lunchtime workouts.

The City normally leads the pack when it comes to running the Virgin London Marathon, but runners being forced to don fancy dress for this year's Virgin London Marathon can take comfort in the fact that the gym chain is offering complimentary access to its UK-wide facilities for those competing in costume – provided they dress for the occasion.

Whether you call Canary Wharf, the City or the west end your home from home, gyms in Tower Bridge, Canary Wharf and the Strand are opening their doors to costumed race participants ahead of the big day this weekend.

Those in fancy dress will be able to access the gym floor, testing out their cardio and core strength the week before the race on 24 April.

To guarantee entrance the gym floor, London Marathon runners must arrive with their costume, ID and proof of race entry, but try not to bring anything too overbearing. Virgin says that gym managers reserve the right to refuse entry if the costume is a health and safety hazard on the gym floor.

Andy Birch at Virgin Active said: “Finishing the London Marathon is an amazing achievement in itself, however those runners who accomplish this feat in costume have our serious respect."

"We know how important preparation is when it comes to marathons which is why we’re offering runners access to our gym floors anytime this week to make sure they feel ready, no matter what their attire is!"

Bad luck, then, for City A.M.'s resident marathon runner George Reed, who won't have to play dress up for his sponsored slog for Maggie's this year. Luckily, with big names like Bank of England chief Mark Carney regularly making appearances on the track throughout the years, The Capitalist expects to see a few grandees looking the part as they hit the gym this week.

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