The London Marathon is one of the best marathons in the world, offering a winning combination of a quick course and (under normal circumstances) truly exceptional sideline support. As a result, competition to get one of the more than 40,000 spots available in the race is always fierce. Everyone wants to run the London Marathon.
Unless you’ve chalked up an unusually quick marathon time in the past year, the easiest way to get a place is through the ballot, which is open for around five days each year, usually immediately after the race is held.
The 2020 race was postponed until October and, for the general public, changed to a virtual event, while the 2021 race will also be in October. The 2022 race was expected to return to its usual spring berth but the organisers, keen to ensure it has the best chance of running as normal, have announced that it will also take place the first Sunday in October.
When is the 2022 London Marathon?
The scheduled date for next year’s event is Sunday 2nd October 2022.
When are the ballot results announced?
The results were announced on Monday 14th March, when the 350,000 who entered were whittled down to around 17,500 (the final numbers are approximate because many people are given a place but don’t end up running, something the organisers take into account when awarding places).
When did the London Marathon 2022 ballot take place?
The ballot for the 2022 race is now closed. It opened on Saturday 2nd October – the day before the 2021 race – and closed at 9pm on Friday 9th October.
How do I enter the ballot?
When the ballot is open, typically in the week following the race, you sign up on the event website. You don’t have to pay the entry fee (£49, or £47 for club-affiliated runners), but you can donate your entry fee if you don’t get a place in the race. Those who decide to be charitable get a second bite of the apple in the Lucky Bequest draw, which allocates another 2,000 places. Those who miss out in that extra draw still get a training top worth £70, so they don’t go home completely empty-handed.
A London Marathon place is relatively cheap. The New York Marathon, for example, costs $358 (£262) for foreigners and $295 (£216) for Americans, and there are even a few 10K and half marathon races in London that cost more than the marathon.
Are there any other ways to secure a spot in the race?
If you strike out in the ballot or miss the window to enter, consider trying to get a charity place for the race. The London Marathon website has a list of charities that have guaranteed spots (opens in new tab) for the event. Once you find one you’d like to raise money for, head to the charity’s own website to apply for one of its places.
Speedy runners can also get into the race via Good For Age entry. Since 2020 this entry method has provided 6,000 total spots divided evenly between men and women who achieved the qualifying times.
Check the Good For Age page on the London Marathon website (opens in new tab) to see if you meet the qualifying conditions, but bear in mind that Good For Age places are allocated on a fastest-first basis and demand will be high in 2022. So if you’ve just squeaked under the qualifying time it’s worth looking into a charity spot too.
What about the Virtual London Marathon 2022?
The Virtual London Marathon saw 24,000 runners in 100 countries complete the 2021 marathon within a 24-hour period, logging their efforts in the official app to earn a finisher’s medal and T-shirt.
If you were unsuccessful in the ballot for the London Marathon 2022 you have an eight-day window to enter the virtual race before it’s opened to the general public on Tuesday 22nd March. The virtual event is also likely to sell out, so this consolation prize is well worth considering.
Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.
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