How to Get into The London Marathon

It was another exciting Virgin Money London Marathon in 2019. If it’s inspired you to enter next year here’s all the information you need.

There are many ways to get into the Virgin Money London Marathon but they basically come down to these four options: be lucky, raise money, be fast, be very fast. Let’s take these one by one.

Be lucky

You can enter the ballot, which is now open and will close on 5pm on May 3rd 2019, and then hope for the best. There were 414,168 applicants for the ballot for the 2019 race and the odds just get slimmer every year (see how the entries have increased year on year in this article). There’s no longer the guaranteed entry for runners who’ve been unlucky in the ballot a set number of times. You just wait until you either receive the hallowed ‘congratulations’ email in mid-October, or you don’t. Worth a punt!

If you’re a member of a running club then you may also be able to put your hat in the ring if your club receives a place or places. These may be your best odds! If your club has up to 150 members it will be allocated one place. So maybe it has 50 members and only 20 would be interested in running London. A one in 20 chance! If your club has between 151 and 250 members and it will get two, 251 to 350 will get three places and above that it’s capped at four.

VM London Marathon 2018
Be a charity runner – it’s a cool thing to do

Raise money

Many charities have guaranteed places in the London Marathon (through the Golden Bond, Silver Bond and Charity ballot schemes – see a list of the charities who are part of these schemes), but you will need to commit to raising a certain amount to get one. And it’s usually a lot, around £2000, but if that seems like a tall order it’s because the charity has to pay a significant amount to secure that place. But if you really want to run London and you’re happy to commit to some serious fundraising, then the charity will really appreciate it.

Be fast

It’s possible to get a ‘Good For Age’ place for London if you have run a marathon under a certain time, depending on your age. For the 2019 race you have to have achieved your time between 1st January 2018 and 6th August 2019. The window for getting your Good For Age entry in will be 7th August to 16th August 2019. You will then be informed soon after if you have secured a place (note that it isn’t guaranteed). The times vary from sub 3 for men under 40 and sub 3.45 for women under 40, right up to sub 5.30/6.40 if you’re in your 80s. The full list can be viewed HERE.

Be very fast

You can get a Championship place if you’re a man who’s run a 2.45 marathon (or 1.15 half) or a woman who’s run a 3.15 marathon (or 1.30 half) in the two years before the London you’re applying for. You have to do this by early January 2020 for the 2020 race (date not yet confirmed) and you have to be a member of an athletics/running club. Read more about this method of entry HERE.

For full information about how to enter the Virgin Money London Marathon see HERE.

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