Thousands of runners enter the London Marathon ballot every year, but only a portion of those applicants actually get a coveted spot in the London Marathon. For some it will be a relief to get that rejection email, but for others it’s a disappointment. As for those who now have to start training, the panic might have started.
However you’re feeling and whatever the outcome of your London Marathon ballot application, we’ve got the answers to the question everyone is thinking: what do I do now?
What to do if you didn’t get into the London Marathon
If you want to run a marathon, and even if you specifically really want to run the London Marathon, you still have plenty of options. Don’t give up hope just yet.
Charity places for the London Marathon
Many UK charities are given entries by the TCS London Marathon. These places are allocated to runners who agree to raise a minimum amount of money for that charity. The amount you’ll need to raise will depend on the charity you are fundraising for but will often be upwards of £1000.
Charity places are in high demand so if this is a route you’re interested in, get in touch with the charities that you’re most passionate about now. Find a charity that is important to you and that you have a connection with as it will make it easier to fundraise if you’re doing it for a cause close to your heart.
Good for Age London Marathon entry
If you’ve already run a marathon, you may be able to secure a place in the London Marathon via the Good for Age entry system. This entry option is available to runners who have run a marathon in a qualifying time based on their age and gender.
To qualify for the 2024 TCS London Marathon your qualifying marathon will need to have been run between 3 October 2022 and 30 September 2023.
Read our tips on getting a Good for Age place.
Enter another marathon
If you really want to run a marathon, there are plenty of races you could target. In fact you don’t even have to wait until next April. If you’re already a regular runner and have done a half marathon before, there are lots of great autumn marathons you could enter and start training for this year.
And who knows, you might find yourself qualifying for a London Marathon Good for Age place for 2025.
What to do if you got accepted into the London Marathon
Congratulations, you’ve got your place in one of the best marathons in the world. The most important thing to do right now is not to panic. Next year’s race takes place on 21 April 2024, so you have more than eight months until race day. Whatever your current fitness level, there’s plenty of time to build up gradually.
Pay your entry fee
If you’ve been successful in the ballot, you’ll need to pay your entry fee of £69.99 (UK entrants) or £146 (international entrants) to secure your place before the deadline of 4pm on Tuesday 1 August. That is if you didn’t already donate your entry fee when you entered the ballot.
get out running
While race day is a long way off, there’s no better time to get into a regular running routine than now. If you’re just starting running for the first time or coming back from a long period away from it, follow a 0 to 5k plan. Those who are already training regularly could focus on training for a half marathon this autumn or use a marathon base training plan before following a marathon training plan from around December.
Find some build-up races
London Marathon is going to be your focus for the next nine months, but you might want to build in some other races along the way. These can help you break down your training and work towards smaller milestones and track your progress towards the main event.
Building in smaller races into your training is a great way to practice your race day routine ahead of your main goal. It can also help lessen your nerves when it comes to London if you’ve experienced a smaller race day environment. Even the occasional parkrun can help.