So You Didn’t Get Into The London Marathon. Now What? - The Running Channel Advertisement

So You Didn’t Get Into The London Marathon. Now What?

BY: Mark Dredge
02 July 2024

The ballot for 2025’s TCS London Marathon has been drawn and over 800,000 people received the news that they didn’t get into the race. So what now? From running for charity to looking for an alternative marathon, here are some of your options.

RUN THE LONDON MARATHON FOR CHARITY

London is the world’s most colourful marathon, with most of those colours coming from the tens of thousands of runners wearing tops to show the charity they’re supporting. 

It’s an incredible sight to see so many people who are raising money for hundreds of different charities, and it means that year-after-year the London Marathon is the world’s biggest one day fundraising event – in 2023 runners collectively raised £63 million!

If you’d like to run for a charity then you need to apply directly with the charity of your choice, often explaining your reasons why you’d like to run for that cause, and detailing how you plan on fundraising. Find details on running London Marathon for charity here, and here’s a full A-Z list of all the charities with London Marathon places (for these you’ll need to go to the charity’s website to find out more).  

Charities have a minimum fundraising commitment of at least £2,000, and often more. 

RUN THE LONDON MARATHON WITH A GOOD FOR AGE TIME

Are you a faster runner in your age group? If so, London Marathon has 6,000 places available for faster runners, split equally between age groups and male and female runners on a fastest first basis within each age and gender category. 

Details of London Marathon Good For Age entry can be found here. The qualifying window is 1 October 2023 to 30 September 2024, so there’s still time to run a quick marathon. You are able to apply for a GFA place from October 2024, but know that achieving your time doesn’t guarantee you entry – in 2023 you had to run more than five minutes faster than the qualifying time.

For those runners who change age brackets over the qualifying window and race day: your qualifying time is based on how old you were when you ran your time, not on the day of the 2025 London Marathon. 

RUN THE LONDON MARATHON WITH A CHAMPIONSHIP PLACE

If you’re a really fast runner, then there are guaranteed championship places to start the London Marathon for men who’ve run under 2:40 and women who’ve run under 3:14. You have to be a member of a UK Athletics running club and run the race in your club colours. Championship entry into the London Marathon opens later in 2024. 

RUN THE LONDON MARATHON VIA YOUR RUNNING CLUB

Running clubs in the UK may be allocated up to two places in the London Marathon depending on the number of runners they have registered. There may be a chance that your club has a space and maybe you’ll be the runner selected. Speak to your running club to see if they have an entry and how they plan on allocating it. 

RUN THE LONDON MARATHON VIRTUALLY

Sure, you might not be running from Greenwich to The Mall, but you can sign up to run the Virtual London Marathon on the same day as the race, running it wherever and however you want and starting whenever you like. The London Marathon MyWay virtual entries are open here

RUN THE REVERSE LONDON MARATHON

This is not an official event, and it’s not necessarily something we’re telling you to do, but every year there are many runners who take on the reverse London Marathon. 

The idea is to run the full London Marathon in reverse, starting very early on marathon morning from The Mall (around 4am depending on how fast you run) and following the course to Greenwich, arriving before the masses set off. Many of the roads are either quiet or closed, or you can run on the pavement where necessary. 

VOLUNTEER AT THE LONDON MARATHON

If you can’t run the race then you can still be involved by volunteering at the London Marathon. Some 6,000 people volunteer each year and have many different roles from being at the Expo to being out on the course or handing out medals at the finish. You can register to become a volunteer and hear about the different positions available.

ALTERNATIVE MARATHONS IN APRIL 2025 

Looking for another marathon to run in April 2025? There are several good choices for you where you can still run a popular road marathon. 

Brighton Marathon (6 April 2025) is organised by London Marathon Events and it’s a lovely route around the seaside town.

Newport Marathon (13 April 2025) is a well-regarded and fast course in Wales, perfect for both PB-chasers and first-timers.

Manchester Marathon (27 April 2025) takes place on the same day as the London Marathon and is the UK’s second-largest marathon with 30,000 runners. It’s proven to be a popular course with great PB-potential. But if you want to get in for 2025 then you need to hurry up!

If you fancy running overseas, then there are lots of choices in April including Milan Marathon (6 April 2025), Vienna Marathon (6 April 2025), Paris Marathon (13 April 2025), Rotterdam Marathon (13 April 2025) and Hamburg Marathon (27 April 2025).

TAKE ON A DIFFERENT RUNNING CHALLENGE

How about taking on a trail race in the spring instead? Some of the UK’s best and most interesting trail runs take place in spring and summer, giving you plenty of time to train. We’ve got a selection of UK ultramarathons that are worth checking out, so when your friends are in the middle of marathon training and boasting about their 20-milers you can brag about how you’ve just run a marathon in training! 

***

Still inspired to run London? Here’s how Sarah got on at the 2024 London Marathon

Lead image from London Marathon 

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