Fitness Blog

How to Get Into The London Marathon 2019

If you're feeling motivated by all the athletes who completed the 2018 Virgin London Marathon, and fancy your chances for the event next year, then you need to act now.

The London Marathon is an annual athletic event, which has been running for decades. The first ever London Marathon took place on 29th March 1981, finishing at Constitution Hill. Even all these years ago, over 20,000 people applied to take part in the event, of which 6747 were accepted and 6255 were accepted.

Over the years, the marathon has grown in popularity, and it now sees more applicants year upon year than almost any other annual sporting event. Securing a place in the London Marathon can be tough due to the volume of interest it raises. However, it is worth every effort. There are a variety of ways you can secure your place, which are as follows:-

Ballot Entry

There is a public ballot entry to enter the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon. It will be open for 5 days to ensure everyone who wants to enter has a fair chance to do so. The entry system opens on Monday 30th April 2018 and closes at 17.00 on Friday 4th May 2018.

Charity Entry

One of, perhaps, the most rewarding options of entry, are through a charity. Often charities have minimum donation figures due to the volume of entry requests they receive; this is a great way to earn money for many worthy causes. Most main charities have a set number of available entries, so directly contact your chosen charity and they will select their runners from the applications. You can contact your chosen charity at any time, and once you have your place confirmed, set up your money raising page and start fundraising.

Good For Age Entry

The figures for this type of entry can change year upon year, so you need to ensure you are training regularly to have the privilege of the Good For Age Entry. This entry requires you to have run a full marathon before in a particularly fast time. If you have, you may qualify automatically. These entry types are capped at 6000: 3000 men and 3000 women. You need to achieve the qualifying race time between 1st January 2017 and 10th August 2018. Times depend on your age and your gender, going from 18-39 year old men requiring a sub 3 hour time, to 80+ year old women requiring a sub 6 hour 40 minute time. All of these need to be run and recorded at a certified marathon course event. It is advised that if you are entering via a Good For Age that you also enter via Ballot to increase your chances of a place. Neither are guaranteed due to the high volume of applicants.

These are the main entry systems for the London Marathon. Other options include the overseas ballot entry system, championship entry and wheelchair entry. In addition to this, you could run as a guide with a visually impaired runner, if they get a place on the ballot entry.

If you need to defer your place on a marathon, you are likely to be able to run the following years marathon, but make enquiries at the earliest point regarding this, to avoid disappointment.

Keep everything crossed that you receive your place, however, if you don't, keep trying. And remember, there are other marathons and races which you can enjoy in the meantime.


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