Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon

Every year the London Marathon draws thousands of runners from all over the world. Unfortunately, there are many more runners who want to run than there are places. Getting into the London Marathon can be luck based, talent based or charity based.

London Marathon – Good for Age Entries

If you have run a quick marathon in the past, you may be eligible for a Good for Age Entry. If so, you will get automatic entry for the race without the need to enter the ballot. The current times are:


Time (in hours)


Time (in hours)

Age 18 - 40

2.45 - 3.10

Age 18 - 49

3.15 - 3.50

Age 41 - 59

sub 3.15

Age 50 - 54

sub 4.00

Age 60 - 64

sub 3.30

Age 55 - 59

sub 4.15

Age 65 - 69

sub 4.00

Age 60 - 64

sub 4.30

Age 70+

sub 5.00

Age 65 - 69

sub 5.30

Age 70+

sub 6.30

To apply for a Good for Age Entry, you need to send proof of performance and a proof of age. This will have to be done in August the year before you want to race. For example, if you want to run the London Marathon in 2012, you will have to send your proof of performance and proof of age before August 2011. A copy of your result will suffice for proof of performance, for example, a newspaper clipping. For proof of age, a copy of your driving license of passport will be ideal.

Once you have sent your details in, you will get a Good for Entry form in the post. That form has to be completed and sent by September of the year before you want to race.

London Marathon – the Ballot

If you haven't run a fast marathon before or if you want to make the London Marathon your first, you can enter through the ballot. There are around 120,000 places in the ballot and these will fill up extremely fast. The ballot opens in April and if you are succesful in securing a place, you will be told in October. There are around four people for each place in the race, so it's just a question of luck as to whether you get in.

London Marathon

London Marathon – Charity Places

If you don't make it into the London Marathon through the ballot, you can choose apply for a charity place. Many charities offer these and vary in the amount they ask you to raise. Perhaps you have a charity which is close to your heart. If so, running the London Marathon for them will help them and you. Running for a charity will certainly help you motivate yourself on those hard training runs and during the race itself.

The London Marathon is one of the best organised and exciting marathons in the world. The course is flat and fast and the crowds are fantastic. Hopefully, with your place secured, you can get stuck into some quality training!