How to Run the London Marathon 2024…without a ballot place

Didn’t get in to the London Marathon for 2024?

Don’t worry, most people that entered didn’t either.

And a LOT of people entered.

The ballot for the London Marathon 2024 was the biggest marathon ballot of all time with over half a million people applying. And only around 20,000 spots for ballot runners.

Luckily there are other ways to get into (arguably) the best Marathon Major. OK, it’s my hometown so I’m biased.

Charity Entry

Another way to guarantee your spot in the London Marathon is to run for a charity. I actually got into running after signing up for the London Marathon for MIND.

Many charities have a number of spots available for the race and in exchange for your place, you’ll need to raise a certain amount of money for the charity. Usually the larger the charity, the more spots they will have – and often the higher the minimum sponsorship requirement.

This is an incredible opportunity to support a cause that’s close to your heart while also achieving a personal goal. To find a charity that has places available for the 2024 London Marathon, check out the London Marathon website. Alternatively have a look at CRUNCH – they call themselves a clearing house for charity runners and have published a list of charities with London Marathon spots alongside the sponsorship requirement (ranging from £1300 – £2000) and area of operation. They only allow you to apply for one place at a time and if that team is full, they’ll come suggest alternative teams.

Good For Age Entry

If you’re a speedy marathoner then a Good For Age (GFA) entry could be your ticket to the London Marathon. This entry is reserved for UK based runners who have achieved a qualifying time in an accredited marathon within a certain time period before the London Marathon.

Qualifying times vary based on age and gender, for example, for women under 39 you would need to run a sub 3.45 marathon. Luckily this entry is open after the ballot results are released to give yourself another opportunity to get a bib.

To apply for a GFA place in the 2024 TCS London Marathon, you must achieve the relevant qualifying time displayed on the London Marathon website between October 3, 2022 and September 30, 2023. Keep an eye on the website for more information on how to apply for a GFA place in August.

For those even faster, you can apply for a Championship spot. In 2023, Women running a sub 3.14 marathon and men running under 2.40 were able to get a championship bib. Full details on 2024 entry info will be released in August.

Spectating the TCS London Marathon 2023

Overseas Entry

Finally, if you live outside the UK, you can apply for an overseas entry. These entries are available to runners who live outside of the UK and have not secured a place through the general ballot.

These bibs are through tour agencies where you get a hotel and bib or flight and bib package (I got a NYC bib through 2.09 events in 2013 and my step-dad also used them for Chicago in 2015). You can find your local sports tour operator here.

Sports Tours International have entries available with 2 – 4 night accommodation from £1129 that includes a bib and two nights in a London hotel. Find out more here.

Sponsor Bib

Lastly, if you work for a London Marathon sponsor or work in the media/influencer then you could get lucky with a sponsor bib. I was very fortunate to get a bib from Flora in October 2022 (read my race recap here).

OK, who was lucky in the ballot for 2024? Are you running the London Marathon next year?

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