London Marathon Ballot: everything you need to know

| 0 min read Charity

So, you’ve decided to take on the London Marathon – one of the most prestigious running events in the calendar. The London Marathon 2024 ballot is closed. Here’s what you need to know about how it works, how you enter and if there are any other ways you can get a spot. 

What is the London Marathon ballot?

Every year, a number of places for the London Marathon go to ballot for entry. This is a lottery where runners enter and then names get randomly drawn out for a spot. It’s free to enter – if you’re selected, then you pay the fee. Then, once you know you have secured a space you can start a GoFundMe and get fundraising.

Important ballot dates to remember

There are strict dates around entering the ballot. The ballot for The London Marathon 2024 ballot closed on 28 April.

Cost of entry

It’s £69.99. Entrants outside of the UK pay £120 plus a £26 carbon offset levy.

Donate to charity for an extra ballot entry

If you’d like a better chance of getting a spot in the race through the ballot entry, you can opt to donate your fee to charity. This means you then get entered to a second draw – but you’re not guaranteed to get a place through that, just a better chance.

Carbon offset levy

As mentioned above, if you’re an international runner, you have to pay a £26 carbon offset levy along with your fee. This is invested into certified projects to offset the carbon footprint of travel. International travel contributes to the carbon footprint of the event, so this is a measure to help with that.

How the London Marathon ballot works

The ballot is a lottery where names are randomly selected. Everyone has the same chance of getting a spot (and you can increase your chances by donating your fee to charity, as mentioned before). It’s down to the luck of the draw.

The difference between ballot entries and charity entries

Every year, most charities will have an allocated number of spaces in the marathon for runners who want to race on their behalf. Before applying, you can browse the list of charities who have these spaces and contact them to see if you can have a spot.

Charities will often choose runners on the connection to their cause and you can apply to run for more than one charity. 

Other entry types

Outside of the ballot and charity entries, there are a couple of other ways you could grab a spot in the London Marathon.

Good for Age entry

If you meet a specific time in previous marathons for your age group – ranging from 18 to over 80 – you can apply for a Good For Age entry. There are 6,000 spots split evenly between men and women and it is the fastest runners based on age and qualifying time who get the places.  

Championship entry

To qualify for a Championship entry spot, you again must have run a marathon or half in a certain time, at an event or course certified by the UKA, the Association for International Marathons and Distance Races or the relevant body if you’ve run abroad. 

Still not sure if you want to run? Check out our London Marathon event guide.

Written by helen