London Marathon ballot: How can I enter next year’s race?

Last year, ahead of the race, a total of £39 million was raised by London Marathon participants on the fundraising site (PA) (PA Archive)
Last year, ahead of the race, a total of £39 million was raised by London Marathon participants on the fundraising site (PA) (PA Archive)

The TCS London Marathon is here as runners take to the streets in one of the world’s most iconic races.

The annual road race in the English capital is again held in a traditional slot in April, with thousands entering the mass participation event and bidding to complete the 26.2-mile course.

Two strong elite fields and the best wheelchair racers in the world will also be competing on a busy day.

For those inspired or keen to experience the magic, you can apply for entry into next year’s race. Here’s all you need to know about the ballot and how to get into next year’s race.

How can I enter next year’s race?

You can secure a place in the 2025 London Marathon by entering the ballot. The ballot opens on Saturday 20 April, one day before the 2024 edition of the race and closes on Friday 26 April. The ballot results will be announced before the end of July.

The cost of a place in the TCS London Marathon for successful UK participants is £69.99. You do not have to pay your entry fee at the ballot, but UK residents can opt to donate their entry fee to The London Marathon Charitable Trust no matter the outcome of the ballot.

If you are unsuccessful, then those who have donated their fee to the London Marathon Charitable Trust will have their name entered into a second ballot, where 2,000 extra places are up for grabs. If you are successful in either ballot your entry fee is slashed to £49.99. If you are unlucky twice, you’ll get a premium winter running top worth £60.

International entrants will pay £120 for a place in the TCS London Marathon, plus a £26 carbon offset levy – to find out more, click here.

You can return here when the ballot opens to submit your entry into next year’s race.

The ballot is performed at random, while alternative options include applying for a charity place while you wait for the results of the ballot – if you end up gaining a ballot place and a charity place you can return your place to the charity and still raise funds for them as an own-place runner.

When is this year’s race?

The 2024 London Marathon takes place on Sunday, 21 April.

Start times

08.15: Elite wheelchair races

09.00: Elite women’s race

09.40: Elite men’s race and mass start

How can I watch the race?

Viewers in the United Kingdom will be able to watch the London Marathon live on the BBC, with extensive television coverage and online streaming available via the BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport website.

What is the route?

The course for the event remains largely unchanged since the first running of the race in 1981. Entrants will start in the south of Greenwich, embarking on a largely flat course to the east before folding back towards the centre of London on Woolwich Church Street.

From there, runners weave past the Cutty Sark by the Thames, hugging the river as they travel through Bermondsey and crossing Tower Bridge. A right turn will take competitors into the heart of the old Docklands, winding through Canary Wharf before doubling back to begin the final stretch through central London. A dip through an underpass at Blackfriars will take runners down to the Embankment with the Thames to their left, turning right at Westminster Bridge.

Two more right turns on the edge of St James’s Park will take the field on to the famous finish on The Mall near Buckingham Palace.

What is the prize money on offer at the London Marathon?

This year’s London Marathon will make history as it becomes the first marathon in the world to pay wheelchair racers the same prize money as their able-bodied counterparts.

London Marathon wheelchair races were already the richest in the world, but a further increase of $54,500 (£43,000) to the prize money in 2024 means the total prize pot stands at $308,000 (£243,000), creating parity with the elite men’s and women’s able-bodied fields.

This means that all winners in the elite races of the 2024 London Marathon will receive $55,000 (£44,000), with the runner-up earning $30,000 (£23,700) and third-place $22,500 (£17,800).