How to enter the London Marathon

Orange running shoes
| 0 min read Uncategorized

The London Marathon is one of the most iconic races a person can complete. It gets thousands of entries every year and it can be competitive to get a place. There are many different ways to enter the London Marathon, from putting your name in the ballot to running for a charity. Read on to find out everything you need to know about the London Marathon entry.

How to enter the London Marathon

There are a number of ways to enter. Not successful in the ballot? Run for a charity. Miss out on a charity place? You may qualify for a Good for Age place. There are so many ways to enter and we are here to tell you how you can complete your London Marathon sign up.

How to enter the ballot

The ballot for the London Marathon 2024 is now closed.

UK ballot

In order to enter the ballot, head to the official page of the London Marathon.  

You don’t have to pay when you enter, you will only have to pay if you are successful. However, if you wish to, you can opt to donate the entry price to charity when you enter. 

International ballot

The cost of a place in the TCS London Marathon for international participants is £120, plus a £26 carbon offset levy – To find out more, visit the official London Marathon website.

How to secure a charity entry

Every year most UK charities are given a certain amount of places for the London Marathon through the Golden and Silver Bond schemes. Once you get a place you are usually required to raise a certain amount for that charity.

How do I apply for a charity place?

The best way to apply for a charity place is to think of a cause that is close to your heart and then get in touch with the charity to see if they can offer you a place. To view a full list of charities with places visit the London Marathon website.

Usually more people apply to run for a charity than there are places available, so the charity will give the place to someone who has a genuine connection to their cause.

Runners are able to apply for both a charity and a ballot place however due to the competitive nature of the charity places if you are  successful in the ballot you will be  required to give up their charity place.

Once you have secured a place you can fundraise for your chosen charity on GoFundMe.

Enter with a tour operator

If you live outside of the UK you can enter the London Marathon through a tour operator. The TCS London Marathon has a list of approved tour operators who you can approach. From South Africa to Singapore there are many operators with places on offer. Once you have found the one for you, you can reach out to them directly for more information.

 Find out whether you qualify for a Good for Age entry

In order to qualify for a GFA place you will need to prove that you can complete a marathon in the specified time for your age group.  You need to achieve the relevant qualifying time displayed on the London Marathon website during the qualifying period. 

Qualifying times must have been run at an in-person event that has a certified marathon course, or at the virtual TCS London Marathon. In-person race courses must have been certified by UKA, the Association for International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS), or a national governing body for distance running for the country in which the race is held. 

Meeting the qualifying time for your age category doesn’t automatically guarantee you a place but it does qualify you to apply.

Enter through an athletics club

Another option to consider is to apply through an athletics club.

Usually there are around 1,000 places available. If you are part of an athletics club, ask them if they have places for next year’s marathon. It is up to the club to determine who they give their places to. Some will run their own ballot and link it to how much running or volunteering members have done for the club.

Not part of a club? This is all the more reason to join one.

Entering the Virtual London Marathon

You can be part of the London Marathon and you don’t even have to leave your town. Take part in the virtual London Marathon! All you have to do is sign up online. Entries cost £28 and participants who finish the race will receive a coveted finishers medal and t-shirt. 

You can enter the virtual London Marathon purely for yourself and to test your limits or you can enter it for a charity and raise funds for a good cause along the way.

How to defer your entry

Got a place in the London Marathon but can’t take part? Don’t worry, you can do a London Marathon deferral. TCS London Marathon have a withdrawal system for anyone who can no longer take part in the race

Once you withdraw you will be given the option to defer your place to next year. If you’re eligible.

Deferral differs depending on what type of place you have. If you won your place via the ballot or have a guaranteed place from a running club or a stakeholder (such as a local authority, emergency service, volunteer group or another group), you can defer your place.

Unfortunately if you got your place through a charity you will not be able to defer your place.

You can find out if you are eligible to defer your place on the London Marathon site.

Frequently asked questions

Q: When can I enter the London Marathon?

The ballot for the London Marathon 2024 is now closed.

Q: How many times can you defer your entry?

You can only defer your entry once. The only exception is if you are pregnant or postpartum.

Q: How much does it cost to enter the London Marathon?

The cost of a place in the TCS London Marathon for successful UK participants is £69.99 

Q: What are the odds of getting into the London Marathon?

Just 3.71% are lucky enough to grab a place via the ballot with only 17,000 spaces up for grabs. 

Q: Can I sell my London Marathon place?

You are not able to sell your London Marathon place as it goes against TCS London Marathon’s terms and conditions.

Written by alex